The Gelato World Tour 2.0 kicked off around noon at Singapore’s Marina Bay Sands Convention Centre yesterday and visitors at the fair had a field day, tasting a wide variety of exotic gelato flavours from all around the world. These included uniquely Singaporean flavours such as Singapore Sling and Chendol Merdeka, to international varieties such as Roasted Walnut & Honey Crunch and Caramel & Almond Crunch. In all, there were 16 flavours to tempt the taste buds.
The Gelato exhibition will be at the Marina Bay Sands from now until Sunday, so you will still have time if you want to try some artisan gelato – without having to travel to Italy to get your fix. The creative brains behind these interesting gelato flavours are all vying to have their creation voted as the best gelato at the Gelato World Tour competition in the Singapore leg. The winner will represent the Asia Pacific region at the Gelato World Tour finals come 2017, in Italy. Besides tasting the flavours, the public will also get the chance to vote for their favourites. This counts for 60 per cent of the overall votes, with the other 40 per cent being decided by a panel of judges.
I tried out the gelato flavours at the Gelato World Tour 2.0 and here are my comments.
1) Kochi Popz
Created by Chronos Chan, 40, the founder of Tom’s Palette in Singapore, this is a light and refreshing Yuzu based gelato flavour that contains chocolate coated pop rocks which pops and sizzles when chewed. And when it dissolves in the mouth, it creates a fizzy reaction.
I thought this flavour was very unique and strongly reminded me of the popping candy that I used to eat when I was young. As the gelato slowly melts into the mouth, the Yuzu flavoured gelato gives off a very slight fizzy popping sensation. It reminds me somewhat of the fizz that I get in the mouth, when I drink Coca Cola. As well, the Yuzu base is definitely a mild flavour that is not too rich and creamy. I really enjoyed the way that it sizzled and popped in my mouth. It was most definitely one of my more enjoyable gelato experiences.
Explained Chan,“We believe that desserts should give people surprises and happiness. To us, this isn’t just a flavour, A lot of the time, what we eat is related to an experience, for example, something that reminds us of our childhood days, and that makes us even more emotional about the food that we eat.”
“We especially like to see the expression on our customer’s faces and how they look when they eat this flavour. A lot of people don’t actually expect the gelato to sizzle and pop inside the mouth and people discovering such surprises in their food, are memorable for us.”
2) Caramel & Almond Crunch
Created by Indian gelato chef Vanjimuthu Palaniswarmy, 47 and his wife, Kavithamani Vanjimuthu, 39, this flavour is a combination of classic caramel together with roasted Marcona almonds and chunks of Belgium chocolates swirled inside and topped with ribbons of stracciatella. Rose white extract is also mixed into this gelato.
This gelato is very pleasant. The caramel provided the sweetness and the almonds gave the flavour a crunchy texture. The dark Belgium chocolates melted slowly in with the other flavours too, in the mouth.
Said Kavithamani, the co-founder of Boomerang, in Tamil Nadu, India, “Normally gelato is very sweet. Caramel is also very sweet. So we decided to create a flavour with caramel to bring out the sweetness of the gelato for everyone to enjoy. Also, we hope that eating our gelato will calm people’s minds because rose white extract is naturally known to have a very calming and soothing effect.”
3) Kopi Fah Sung Thong
This is a unique gelato that combines the taste of unsweetened Kopi together with the crunchy mix of peanuts and sesame, and enriched this with caramelised sugar. Designed by Angsna Dhippayam from I-Kitchen Restaurant in Thailand, it is supposed to bring back memories of romantic times in traditional kopitiam shops in South East Asia.
When I tried this flavour, the first thing that hit me was the bitter taste and rough texture of the coffee powder which had been added to it. I thought this was very unusual. After the gelato had melted though, I was able to taste a little bit of caramelised peanut, but then this was quickly replaced by the coffee flavour again. I think that coffee lovers would enjoy this gelato flavour.
4) Mango Ube Symphony
The brainchild of Zarah Zaragoza-Manikin from the Bono Artisanal Gelato shop in Manila, Philippines, this is a mango gelato heightened with swirls of purple yam jam and rum-soaked dried mango strips added.
I could immediately detect a very strong mango flavour in this gelato, which had a generous amount of mango pieces added. But after letting the gelato settle and melt in my mouth for a few short seconds, the mango flavour quickly gave way to a yam flavour – which was rather unique.
5) Roasted Walnut & Honey Crunch
Created by a trio of Australian gelato chefs from 48 Flavours at the Adelaide Central Market, in South Australia, this flavour comprises of 100 per cent walnuts blended together with smooth Australian honey and topped off with crunchy pralines and walnuts.
The moment I tried this flavour, I could taste a very strong honey sensation that slowly melted in the mouth, which subsequently gave way to a delicious roasted walnut flavour with a yummy crunchy texture. The combination of flavours matched quite well.
Explained Brian O’Donnell, 53, the co-founder of 48 Flavours, “We wanted something traditionally Australian and we love nuts and a crunchy texture. So we decided to stick to roasted walnuts. The honey used was premium Australia honey and we introduced this and spread it throughout the gelato. So there would be sweetness of honey and texture of nut praline. This was the inspiration behind our flavour.”
6) Burnt Butter with Toffee Almond Brittle
The brainchild of Robbie Hill from Yamba Icecreamery in the holiday town of Yamba, in the North Coast of New South Wales, Australia, this is a creamy gelato flavour that is supposed to have a taste of a strong burnt butter initially. before melting into a condensed milk flavour – being followed by a light, crunchy almond brittle taste.
I thought the caramel taste given off by the burnt butter was quite strong right at the beginning. But at the same time, the crunchy texture from the almonds provided a good contrast. After a while though, the caramel burnt butter taste completely gave way to a mild milky flavour.
Explained Hill, the founder of Yamba Icecreamery, “We hope that people will get a nice, balanced flavour that is not too sweet when they taste our gelato. We chose this flavour to represent us at the competition, because it was selling really well in our shop and I thought that it was a little bit different compared to standard chocolate or caramel flavours. So I felt that it would do well in a competition. And in fact, this flavour was the bestseller in our shop, in the months leading up to the competition. So I think that bodes well for our chances.”
7) Chendol Merdeka
This uniquely Singaporean flavour, combining together the fragrance of coconut milk and freshly squeezed pandan juice, flavourful gula melaka, red beans and smooth chendol, was created by Marco Alfero, the founder of the Alfero Artisan Gelato Bar in Singapore.
He explained, “We decided to create a flavour called Chendol because we think it is one of the most famous and traditional flavours in Singapore. We think the two main flavours in Singapore are Chendol and Durian and we are already selling Durian in our shop so we decided to create Chendol. But we had to create everything from scratch, for example, extracting the pandan and blending the ingredients together.” The Merdeka part of the name came about, because Merdeka means Independence and Alfero had wanted to mark Singapore’s 50 years of independence through his gelato flavour.
Added Alfero, “I think we have created a flavour to satisfy the palate of Singaporeans because they already know what Chendol is and most of the Italian flavours like Hazelnut and Pistachio are very well known already. I hope the customers will love our effort to make something local to suit their taste buds.”
When I tried this flavour, I was really quite impressed that Alfero had managed to actually present the real flavour of the traditional Chendol dessert into his flavour of the gelato ice cream. I thought that the flavour is quite true to the real thing in terms of the effect that it creates on my taste buds. When I had ordered a serving of this flavour, Alfero had even added red beans and green starched chendol on top of it, which made it even more like the actual Chendol dessert as well. The toppings helped to add consistency to the dessert, so that every bowl would contain all the ingredients of a typical Chendol. I thought that this was definitely an impressive effort.
8) Loving Date
Created by Stefano Cadorin, 29, from the +39 Gelato Bar in Singapore, this is an interesting flavour with a real kaleidoscope of flavours coming from all over the world. It has flavours of tofu from East Asia, tahina from the Middle East, dates from the Mediterranean and balsamic vinegar from Italy, the hometown of gelato.
When I tried this flavour, I thought the taste was very interesting. At the very beginning, I could detect a very strong date flavour – which reminded me of date cakes, a traditional Kiwi dessert. But the date flavour quickly gave way to one that somewhat reminded me of coconuts, when the gelato had slowly melted. At the same time, there also seemed to be some vinegar flavour. And towards the end, the date flavour replaced the coconut taste again. It was strange and intriguing. Overall, I must say that it definitely arrested my senses.
Explained Cadorin, “This is a very peculiar taste, because it is a mix and there isn’t one ingredient that you can feel more than others. It’s all blended in together. I like to see people’s face when they put this gelato into their mouth. Many of them like it, as they don’t expect to taste so many flavours in a single mouthful, and the gelato to taste so complex. But it is a very technical flavour that not everyone may appreciate though.”
9) Singapore Sling
The brainchild of Charles Tan, 23, from Fat Cat Ice Cream Bar in Singapore, this sorbet-based gelato is an inspiration based on the renowned signature cocktail made by The Long Bar at Singapore’s famous Raffles Hotel.
Explained Tan, “I grew up drinking lots of Singapore Sling and I love the fruity flavour of the original one at Raffles Hotel, but I noticed that many people have misconceptions about it, that it tastes like cough syrup, because they are not tasting the original version. So I came up with this flavour to change the misconceptions of the traditional Singapore Sling. In my gelato, I will be trying to recreate the flavour using natural ingredients such as cherry liquor and Grenadine syrup.”
The presentation of this gelato was quite interesting when it was served – just like with the Singapore Sling, a popping cherry and a pineapple were also added to my gelato as a form of decoration.
I couldn’t wait to try this flavour, and when I did, I found that it actually tasted better than the standard Singapore Sling at Raffles Hotel. When I first tried it, I found that it had a very strong, sugary cherry flavour. Those who enjoy drinking fruit punch will definitely love this flavour.
And the cherry really does pop. When I prodded it with my ice cream spoon, the juice spewed all over my gelato as a result. The cherry had been sweetened, but other than that, I felt that it tasted quite fresh. The piece of sweetened pineapple also had a rather fresh taste, which I thought reflected the freshness of the gelato.
10) Croccante alle Fragola
An egg-cream flavoured gelato with cinnamon, varied with crystals, crushed almonds and strawberries, this gelato was created by Mirko Stortini from Gelato Italia in Hanoi, Vietnam.
I found there was a very strong strawberry flavour, which seemed to dominate the other flavours. A little later, I could detect some cinnamon but this was only for a very brief moment of time. I like the crunchy almonds though, as this helped to change the textures in my mouth. Towards the end, I could taste more of the crunchy almonds, though.
11) Curcuma (Temulawak)
This is a very intriguing flavour of gelato that is based on a herbal drink called Jamu, that’s native to Indonesia. Jamu is made mainly using the Curcuma herb, and is typically seen as a health elixir and helps to maintain a healthy liver, keeps the skin smooth and works as an antioxidant to support the immune system and increases appetite.
The gelato was created by Andre Soenjoto from de Boliva in Indonesia, and his rationale was to introduce this Indonesian flavour to more people around the world. He said, “I want everyone to have it and taste the ingredients because they are so different. And I get the feedback from consumers that it is a very strange flavour because people have never tasted it before. It is different to standard flavours like chocolate and hazelnut because you already know what those taste like.”
When I tried this gelato, I had trouble deciding what the flavour really was. It was definitely not like any ordinary gelato at all. But if I had to put it down in words, I would say perhaps it would be likened to something like herbal tea and yellow turmeric, blended together and made into a gelato. There was some sweetness to this flavour, but at the same time, it was a tad savoury and perhaps a little spicy as well. I would say this was most probably the most unusual flavour at the entire Gelato World Tour 2.0.
12) Good ‘Ol Days
Created and prepared by Sharon Tay, 35, the founder of Momolato in Singapore, this is a full-bodied coconut milk palm sugar blend that combines palm sugar caramel, sea salt and crispy flakes of savoury sweet caramelised beancurd.
Explained Tay, on her flavour, “I think these are all classic Singaporean ingredients and 2015, being Singapore’s 50th birthday, is all about nostalgia for Singapore. But at the same time, we are doing a playful twist on these classic flavours – by making them into gelato – and to us, this represents the fact that Singapore is not just sticking to the past, but continues to innovate as we move forward as a nation.”
When I tried this gelato flavour, I could taste the Gula Melaka flavour almost immediately. And the palm sugar ribbons that were used as a decorative topping, added sweetness. I thought the crispy bean curd was interesting though and when I ate these together with the gelato, the way that they had been fried, somewhat reminded me of a pork floss topping.
13) Beer With Ciambella
The brainchild of Harish Doneka from Pick Me Up Cafe at East Coast Park, in Singapore, this is an intriguing flavour that uses locally brewed beer, characterised by smooth citrus flavours and combined with the sweetness of yoghurt gelato. It is also mixed in with chunks of sweet Ciambella to complement the bitter taste of the beer.
When I tasted this flavour, I found it to be quite interesting. The huge chunky pieces of Ciambella cake gave the melt-in-your-mouth gelato a very chewy texture. Being sorbet based, I also thought the gelato was quite icy. As for the flavour of the beer, I found it to be quite mild and I could really taste the sweetness of the Ciambella cake more.
14) Vanilla of the East
Prepared by Keewin and Seow Huan Ong of Cielo Dochi in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, this is a pandan based flavour gelato with added vanilla beans, basil seeds and finished off with a drizzle of salted Gula Melaka.
On tasting this gelato, I found the pandan flavour dominated. And the huge basil seeds provided a slightly crunchy note to the gelato. I also thought that the taste of the gula melaka also seemed to be slightly overpowered by the pandan. But otherwise, I found that this was a very interesting South East Asian themed flavour.
15) Lemon Zest with Fig Marmalade and Dark Chocolate
Conceptualised by Antonio Lo Lacono of Gelatony in Sydney, Australia, this gelato is a combination of sweet and sour flavours. It combined the sourness of lemon zest with the sweetness of fig marmalade and a rich dark chocolate finish.
I thought this was a very interesting flavour. The first thing I noticed was the strong sour taste from the lemons, with a very slight hint of sweetness. At the same time, there was also a bitter flavour from the dark chocolate. I didn’t quite know what to think as there were so many vastly different flavours all fighting for my attention together. As a result, this made the gelato flavour very intriguing.
16) From the Cradle to the Grave
This intriguingly named flavour was the brainchild of Steve Powell and his wife, Chrissie. Both are the founders of Vostrogusto Gelato in Wellington, New Zealand. This flavour primarily comprises of peanuts, with the infusion of chocolate and salt.
Said Steve, 39, on the flavour, “The inspiration behind this flavour is basically about the different stages of someone’s life. Children love peanut butter and chocolate and when they grow older, they tend to like salt and wine. That’s why we added the salt too. We hope that when people eat this flavour, they will get a kaleidoscope of flavours.”
When I tasted this flavour, I was completely gobsmacked – the peanut flavour was very rich and satisfying. There are plenty of crunchy deep fried peanuts inside, for those who love their nuts. So it would definitely suit peanut lovers out there. Simultaneously, the presence of the salt will compete for attention, though. Also, the bitter flavour from the dark chocolate was also calling out to be heard. As a result, I didn’t quite know where to place this flavour, but what I will say is that it was definitely delicious – and if I dare say, possibly one of the better flavours vying for the crown at the Gelato World Tour.
P.S. Which flavour won? Click here to find out.
Gelato by the Carpigiani Gelato University
Apart from the competition flavours, there were also a wide variety of other gelato flavours available – made by the Carpigiani Gelato University in Italy. I tried the Sacher (dark chocolate) flavour, and the first thing I noticed was how smooth this gelato was, compared to anything else that I have ever tried before. The taste of the dark Sacher chocolate, in fact, seemed quite secondary, once I had been introduced to this yummy gelato.
And immediately, I could tell that this was the gelato art at its finest – I definitely recommend that you should taste some of these gelato flavours too, besides those on offer by the competitors, if you are visiting the Gelato World Tour 2.0 this weekend.
Cafe Asia 2015
The Gelato World Tour is a part of Cafe Asia 2015, which is Singapore’s largest show dedicated purely to coffee, tea, baked goods and confectionary. This will be taking place until 5pm today, at the Marina Bay Sands Convention Centre. And at Cafe Asia, visitors will be able to take part in exclusive workshops, classes and demonstrations on the latest technologies, techniques and trends. There are plenty of types of coffee, coffee machines, cakes, breads and pastries, and other baked goodies, on offer for sampling and purchasing.
Here, I caught a quick glimpse of the amazing creations from participants of the Singapore Bakery and Confectionary Championships and the things that they could do with flour and sugar, were definitely mind-blowing indeed.
I was further gobsmacked – when I caught sight of the Selfiii TechnoArt Digital Coffee Art Printer. As the name suggests, you can use this printer, quite literally, to print your photographs – or selfies – onto coffee cups, yoghurt cups, cup cakes, cookies, and even bread or toast. It was really a piece of amazing technology.
I was lucky enough to witness the printer performing its magic at Cafe Asia 2015, when it printed a photo of me on a simple tub of yoghurt – and to my utter amazement, it created a picture-perfect work of art in seconds, based only on a photograph of myself. I can sense that this is a new piece of technology, that may change the world of coffee and latte art, in the future. (See short video below)
The Gelato World Tour is open this weekend at:
Marina Bay Sands Convention Centre B2
Exhibition Hall D
Friday 20th to Sunday 22 March 2015
12.00pm to 9.00pm
For more information, please visit http://www.gelatoworldtour.com
Other Blog Posts
- Singaporean Flavour Wins at Gelato World Tour 2.0 in Singapore
- Gelato With A Heart Dinner
- Opening Ceremony for Cafe Asia & Gelato World Tour
- John Ryan Ting Wins National Barista Championships 2015
- Review of +39 Gelato Bar in Singapore