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Gelatissimo: The Real Taste of Italia

November 12, 2013

Opened in 2008, the Singapore Flyer instantly became the world’s largest giant observation wheel, eclipsing that of the more popular London Eye.  Though, I’ve been on the London Eye before, my husband has never had the experience of riding in a giant observation wheel.  With that in mind, we decided that one of our “must-see” items in Singapore was a ride on the Singapore Flyer.  Besides, what kid-at-heart wouldn’t relish the opportunity to soar high off the ground in a larger-than-life ferris wheel where you could look out as far as the eye can see – or in this case, on a clear day, you can look out towards neighboring Malaysia and Indonesia?  So, prior to leaving for our vacation, we made sure to book our tickets for the Singapore Flyer.

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Overlooking the gorgeous Marina Bay district of Singapore, the Singapore Flyer stands 165 meters tall at the junction of where the Kailang River and Singapore River flow out into the South China Sea and adjacent to the famous Formula One racetrack for the Singapore Grand Prix, the 360 degree views provided by the giant capsules which take approximately 30 minutes to make a full 360 degree rotation are breathtaking.  It was on descent of our ride on the Singapore Flyer that I spotted a small little shack in the adjacent shopping mall where the Flyer is located that I knew where I wanted to stop for a snack after getting off the Flyer.  The sign read “Gelatissimo: The Real Taste of Italia”.  What could be better than a delicious cup of gelato on a hot and humid Singapore day?  Nothing, that’s the correct answer!  I pointed it out to my husband right away and told him that as soon as we got off the Flyer we were going to find that small little shack and stop by for an afternoon treat.

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The roots of Gelatassimo come from a Southern Italian man who migrated to Australia and opened his own fresh fruit stand.  The fresh fruit stand eventually gave way to an authentic Italian trattoria which also produced and sold fresh gelato using old family recipes.  Eventually, this trattoria became the biggest producer of gelato in bulk to the Sydney area supplying numerous cafes and restaurants.  Eventually, a gelateria was born and that has today become Gelatissimo.  Gelatissimo has grown from a small family-run operation to one of the largest gelato franchisers in the world with most established locations found in SouthEast Asia and the Middle East.  When you walk up to a Gelatissimo stand, you see a brief description of the history of gelato dating back to the Roman Empire and Julius Caesar to the real advent of gelato brought back to Italy by Marco Polo during his treks to the great court of Khan to the invention of the first gelato machine by a Sicilian chef.

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You also get an explanation of what gelato is and how it differs from ice cream.  And believe me, it’s very different.  Among the differences that Gelatissimo cites are: air content, fat content, texture, serving temperature, serving method and production method.  Since artisan gelato needs to be produced in small batches rather in big commercial centers, at Gelatissimo all of their gelato flavors are made in-store, on site in small batches to produce the finest, tastiest, gelato possible.

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Now, the hard part would be picking flavors!  There’s tiramisu and pistachio.  Two very classic Italian gelato flavors.

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What about banana or passionfruit?  You all know how much I absolutely love banana.  There’s also hazelnut or Italian biscotti? Oh wait, panna cotta sounds good too!

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We’re not done yet.  Mango has to be good.  Or macadamia & caramel?  Rum and raisin is a classic flavor.  Or chocolate mint, a very popular ice cream flavor.

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Forest berries or honey toffee?  Lime or raspberry?  Lemon?  Mango?

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What about something called Death By Chocolate?  That can’t be a bad thing.  And they didn’t just have chocolate, there was American chocolate, Belgian chocolate and Veronese chocolate!  Raspberry is quite popular as well.

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In the end, there was only so many flavors we could actually eat.  So we each decided to choose two flavors and get a small cup of gelato each.  I couldn’t resist tiramisu.  Come on, really?  It was absolutely delicious.  However, I did get a slight alcohol aftertaste, so they really made it the authentic Italian way.  I also chose banana.  Because, after all, I can’t resist anything that has banana in it.  And you can tell this was made with authentic banana because of its pale white color rather than places who use fake banana flavor and then color the gelato yellow.  The banana was incredibly refreshing and smooth and creamy.

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My husband went with forest berries and pistachio.  What a pretty combination.  My husband wasn’t too impressed with the pistachio.  He thought it lacked a bit of flavor and said he probably would try a different flavor next time around.  However, he loved forest berries.  He said that the flavor of the forest berries was incredibly tangy and vibrant and fresh and he really enjoyed it.

This was quite an afternoon treat for us.  Singapore was hot.  We were travel weary.  We’d just spent 30 minutes sitting inside the capsule at the Singapore Flyer, and the thought of walking around some more after we’d lost some of our impetus just wasn’t appealing.  Taking a bit of a break to have some Gelatissimo was the perfect pick-me-up.  And as they advertise, they really are the Real Taste of Italia!

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