Gelato in the Square

October 16, 2017

Details out today of the Gelato in the Square festival put together by Gelato Village.  Daniele and Antonio have been regularly going back to Italy and building a name for themselves in the gelato fraternity – with such effect that the flow is being reversed and some of Italy’s top makers are coming over to Leicester to celebrate all things gelato and  the Slow Food approach in general.

Over the weekend of 27-29 October there will be a huge range of talks, demonstrations and events in the St Martin’s Square café. Every hour or so from 11am on Friday there will be presentations from both local partners such as Belvoir Ridge Creamery who supply their milk and from also Italian artisans such Paolo Brunelli, a man celebrated as the “visionary poet” of gelato.

Others will talk about wine, biscuit and cone making, while local bars and restaurants will also be represented with Charlotte Wood from Manhattan 34 leading a session on cocktails and gelato and Antoni Scarpatti of Anstey’s marvellous  Sapori will address food matching.

There will also of course be chances to sample and purchase exciting flavours of gelato made in Leicester by the visiting makers. It all looks an lot of fun. All events are take place in the shop and are free on a first come first served basis. The full programme is attached below, and should be readable once you click on the images.

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Gelato Village wins big

August 2, 2017

 

gelatovillage_1Many congratulations to Gelato Village  in St Martin’s for gaining two star awards for three of its flavours in the Great Taste Awards.  This is one of the most highly-respected of such schemes and only about 15 per cent of the awards are at two star level. The winning flavours were pistachio, hazelnut and almond and orange. Great to have such fine produce available our city centre.

I spent an interesting hour last night  in St Martin’s Square at one of Gelato Village’s Gelato Bites events, which are giving food enthusiasts a chance to hear from some of the brilliant food producers and retailers in our county.

The event saw a presentation from Alan Hewson, whose herd of Red Poll cows at Eastwell , north of Melton, not only supply the milk and cream for Gelato Village but also for their Jamie Oliver-endorsed Colwick Cheese, traditional local  brie-a-like Slipcote cheese and the summertime hard cheese Ironstone.

The Hewsons, like the Gelato Village lads, support Slow Food principles and reject the high yield at all costs approach, farming with rare breed cattle that produce maybe only a third of the intensively pushed dairy breeds. These smaller, hardier breeds can spend almost all of the year outdoors and over the coldest months can get by on hay, silage and a salt-lick. The Hewson’s don’t homogenise or standardise the milk, producing milk which not only has a cleaner, lighter taste but which is a genuinely seasonal product  – one that changes as the composition of the meadow  grasses change over the year.

The quality of the milk  – which won best in show at last year’s prestigious Nantwich Cheese Show – contributes directly to the quality of the gelato. That much was perfectly clear on the night from our tastings of the milk and GV’s Fior de Latte (“Blossom of the Milk”), the simple basic gelato which is the touchstone of quality for any producer. The read-across in flavour was clear.

 

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Fior  de latte

 

 

Gelato Village is the only producer in the UK that makes all is product with the milk of a single herd. And an exceptional herd from the same county too. We should treasure both of them.

Future Gelato Bites events will be on Tuesday 14 and 21  March  and will look at matching gelato with pudding wines, and in what’s said to  be a world first, a beer and gelato matching event. Cost is £10, more details and booking information here, or avoid a booking fee and enquire in-store.

 

Gelato in St Martin’s

September 10, 2014

Good to see some food activity around St Martin’s Square in Leicester. Newly opened in what was once a hip clothes store is Gelato Village, an independent business offering “artisan gelato” – two words some will find tiresomely modish.  But as far as I can tell, Gelato Village seems the real deal in term of offering genuine gelato (basically a slightly lower-fat, softer textured Italian-style ice-cream), that is hand made on the premises (you can see in the kitchen) and uses fruit from Leicester Market for its sorbets.  There’s no artificial colourings, flavourings or preservatives and a refreshing absence of gimmicky flavours.

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You can try up to three flavours in any one of three sizes.  I found the tiramisu maybe a little bland, but the Bonet – named after the famous Piedmontese desert with chocolate, amaretti biscuits, caramel and rum – and the sour cherry ripple were superb. It’s a proper treat, no mistake, and I hope they find people will eat good quality gelato all year round.

I note also that a new fine food deli is set to open in the square – don’t know anything more about it and it looks a few weeks off yet.

All this comes on top of St Martin’s Tea and Coffee seeming to be doing well after it’s transition from cookshop and to fully-fledged café and coffee roaster. It’s got a good vibe going there and I had a great doorstop sandwich last week with soft, pillowy bread and a feisty fennel salami filling. In addition Mrs Bridges continues to offer probably the best café food in the whole city – my brunch the other day of duck leg confit hash on sourdough toast was simply gorgeous.

 

 

 

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