Translation of the above article as it appeared in “Bake & Sweet” magazine issue 01/2011.
The motherland of the best ice cream1 in the world, is in fact also the motherland of Mr. Giuseppe Lamandini, the owner of a gelateria (ice cream parlor in Italian - translator’s note) located in Sopot. It is in Italy that Giuseppe gained his artisan experience under the watchful eyes of the most prominent Italian gelato (ice cream in Italian – translator’s note) maestros. He fulfilled his dream of opening his own gelateria in Poland, where he moved with his Polish wife. The gelateria is an innovation in the European context. Giuseppe being a creative, Italian artisan marries traditional production technique with exclusive, health-promoting ingredients to produce unique gelato of superb quality. Every day he combines his passion for gelato with veganism, healthy lifestyle and a love of nature.
Different flavours, different approaches A conversation with Giuseppe Lamandini, the creator and owner of Gelati Giuseppe brand, Italian gelato producer, who is the first one in Poland to offer healthy gelato, created solely out of natural, plant ingredients. - Your gelato is made from natural materials. In our market, it is a novelty. What makes this manufacturing method different from the classical one? - In my opinion it is rather the other way around: using natural ingredients to make gelato is the traditional way, and it used to be the regular way. Today, specialised producers of these semi-finished ice cream compete to create ready-made formulas full of chemical ingredients, flavouring additions and unhealthy ingredients, trying to convince us that pastry industry cannot survive without them. Some gelato makers have given in to this attitude, but I am its determined opponent. In my opinion, using those kinds of “inventions” not only has a negative impact on the taste and health benefits of ice cream, but it also kills your creativity and the desire to produce an individual, one-of-a-kind product. As a matter of fact, you can do it in a whole different manner. I do not use any ready-made basis for my gelato. Every flavour is manufactured in a different way by blending particular ingredients. I pay attention to the naturalness, freshness and what’s most important, to the organic origin of the product. But that’s not all. Natural origin does not need to mean health. While white refined sugar is made from natural sugar beets, there is not a shadow of doubt that it is an unhealthy product, which we should avoid. In my recipes there is no white sugar. There is healthy xylitol, organic unrefined cane sugar and raw, organic agave syrup.
- These are very special, but rather costly ingredients. Is gelato production based on your recipes more expensive than the industrial process? - It is clear that producing these kinds of gelati is more expensive. Please take notice of the fact that xylitol is more than 10 times the price of white sugar, yet I use it because of its phenomenal health properties. My gelati are a little bit more expensive than others, but it’s worth it. My clients are fully aware of this. If somebody expects a truly healthy product, Gelati Giuseppe is the only gelato producer on the market that does its best to meet the challenge. - Have you filed for European certification of your produce? Is it difficult to obtain such a certificate? Does it influence the sales? - I assume you mean the organic certificate. We have not applied yet, though it is one of our future goals. The prerequisite for this is – minimum of 95 % of organic ingredients. We use mostly certified organic ingredients, though we have yet to see organic inulin, organic xylitol or organic, raw fruit juices and we do not intend on giving up on such valuable items. - You make your gelato by yourselves, while a number of Polish artisans have decided to close their ice cream/gelato business. They say it has become unprofitable because of the giants with their industrial methods. What is your take on it? - Truly, industrial ice cream and artisan gelati are two different things and they do not have much in common. In Italy the industrial sector is growing strong, but that does not necessarily have any impact on small artisan parlors, which are big in numbers and are often located next to one another. Italian customer can easily tell an aerated, over-sugary, aromatised industrial creation from an artisan gelato with its rich, natural taste and pliability. You go to the supermarket for cheap ice cream, but you go to a gelateria for a tastier and better quality gelato. Unfortunately, Polish gelaterias and ice cream parlors now sell industrial ice cream by the scoop, which makes customers confused and weary of ice cream in general, because every kind seems to taste alike. They would love to look for something new, healthy and more creative. - You said your gelato is special, one-of-a-kind. What really makes it stand out? - My gelato differs substantially from all other ice cream and gelato products on the market because of its ingredients and its smooth, creamy texture, which is typical of the highest quality Italian hand-made gelato. Gelati Giuseppe means healthy gelati. Many producers out there manipulate this term. You cannot call healthy something which incorporates unhealthy ingredients, such as white sugar or pasteurised milk from big industrial farms. My gelato does not contain cholesterol. Animal milk was replaced by organic soy, coconut and rice milk. Fruit and vegetable juices, fruits and many other ingredients I use are raw and unpasteurised. Thanks to the fact that my production process is always a “cold” one, my gelati keep their fresh, natural taste and the maximum amount of nutritional value, vitamins and minerals. Recently I started using special ingredients, called “superfoods”, such as raw cacao, spirulina, goji berries.
It is the most nutritious food in the world and a highly concentrated, natural source of amino acids, minerals, vitamins, enzymes, coenzymes, antioxidants, polysaccharides, good fats, essential fatty acids and fiber. The flavours Gelati Giuseppe offers include: apple with goji berries from Tibet gelato, lemon with organic spirulina gelato, Gianduia and raw, organic cacao gelato. Last but not the least, Gelati Giuseppe makes ethical gelato; in the production process we do not use any ingredients that can be associated with any human or animal suffering. There is no trace of animal products in our gelato. Our coffee, cacao, unrefined cane sugar, coconut blossom, gula java” sugar are not only organic, but also they bear the Fair-trade Certification Mark, an organization which strives for elimination of poverty, slavery and exploitation of children in the developing countries. - Your gelateria was launched a year ago in Sopot. It is a small place, off season open on Sundays only. Nevertheless, Gelati Giuseppe’s fame goes far beyond local popularity. On the Internet, connoisseurs from all over Poland recommend Gelati Giuseppe to one another. What is the history of your gelato in Poland? - Gelateria was established in July 2009. It is hard to talk about the history, since Gelati Giuseppe is just at the beginning of its journey. The original idea was just to create a normal, traditional Italian gelateria and produce milk-based gelato. What changed the plans was a personal decision connected with changing eating habits and lifestyle. The idea behind Gelati Giuseppe’s vegan ice cream consists in respect for people, animals and our natural environment, and focus on health. For now, it is still a pioneer field and it was not easy to create recipes of my first gelato. We worked them out with an Italian maestro Luciano Ferrari and thanks to him I introduced inulin (a fibre with probiotic qualities) to the final product. Today I make gelato in over 40 flavours and constantly revise the recipes. - You’ve been a big hit on the market. Why do you limit yourselves to one gelateria? - Just to make things clear, Gelati Giuseppe is a small gelateria we started recently, so there is no point in talking about any particular market hit. Almost instantly though, without any advertising, we achieved considerable media success. People welcomed our idea enthusiastically and took to our gelato. The word about it spread quickly around Poland and beyond. It was a big suprise for me. Customers often come from far away just to taste my gelato. It’s a huge satisfaction for me. - What is on your mind in terms of the company development? - Next year we are going to increase production, to meet the expectations of restaurant, ice cream parlor and gelateria owners, who are interested in selling our gelato. There will be a time when more Gelati Giuseppe gelaterias will become a reality. 1
As there is significant difference between ice cream and gelato (see here) I shall use the term gelato from now on – translator’s note
Published on Feb 8, 2011
Published on Feb 8, 2011
Interview with co-creator of Gelati Giuseppe, a small artisan eco gelato (ice cream) facility in Sopot, Poland. Very interesting! Thank you...