Posted by Degan on May 2nd, 2012
May is Artisan Gelato month, and in Vancouver that means Bella Gelateria. Never mind that gelato in May in Vancouver doesn’t make sense, just put on your sweater and head down there. It’s a tiny shop, but basically full to the rim with delicious, surprising flavours on regular rotation. Everyone has a favourite; mine is Black Sesame but other times it’s Thai Coconut Milk or Tahitian Vanilla. Most recently we had Chocolate & Single Malt Scotch and Salted Caramel. They’re all good.
24 flavours are handcrafted and lovingly made daily by owner James Coleridge, who has gone to Italy to learn from the masters, as well taking care to make the gelato with the traditional Italian process and equipment:
- They start with fresh, raw ingredients. These are seasonal and local if possible and often you see some interesting collaborations with other businesses about town; Milano Coffee La Futura espresso, for instance, or Sumac Ridge Gewurztraminer White Wine sorbetto that the NFA underground restaurant uses quite rightly for a palate cleanser.
- Next is a 12 hour flavour infusion process (for maximum flavour deliciousness)
- Then a specialized mixing phase using Cattabriga’s “effe” Italian mixers, proudly visible in the shop. They mix the gelato while it freezes.
- Finally, a temperature controlled storage process where the gelatos are stored in small batches and kept covered at all times in stainless steel, to keep it fresh.
I haven’t had gelato that reminded me of my summer travels in Italy well, since I was in Italy. I don’t know why I haven’t written about it sooner. Anyways, it’s spectacular stuff and perhaps perfectly located, because handcrafted gelato melts quickly in the warm sun and in Vancouver that means you can at least make it to the seawall a block away. Or you can sit in like the true aficionados.