Rose's June Shop Watch - Vanilla Ice Cream
Vanilla Ice Cream
Grom Vanilla Gelato Ice Cream
The best vanilla ice cream
The Italians have always been the best at making ice cream. And Italian immigrants have brought this tradition to the UK. As a child I spent my summers in Scarborough and vividly recall Jaconelli’s ice cream on the foreshore (sadly now closed). My husband remembers Lewis’s ice cream (an anglicised version of Luigi’s) in Warrington. When living in Italy he once drove back to Warrington in a car with a Milan number plate. Thinking he was Italian the Lewis family came out of the shop to speak to him in Italian, but realising he was a local, quickly reverted back to a broad Lancashire accent. And look around the rest of the UK: Nardini’s in Scotland; Sidoli’s in Wales; and even Marine Ices in London was set up by an Italian family.
So, the Italians developed a reputation for the best ice cream in the world, using traditional and secret recipes passed down through the ages, and they became adept at inventing new adventurous flavours. But of all the flavours the best judge of an ice cream is vanilla. Pronounced flavours can sometimes mask the quality of an ice cream. But with vanilla nothing is disguised – you just want an ice cream that tastes of cream and is flecked with vanilla seeds. In fact, ice cream as it used to be made. Gelato come una volta.
And this is the story behind the Italian company Grom (I know it does not sound Italian but it is). Two friends, Federico Grom and Guido Martinetti read an article by the Slow Food founder Carlo Petrini where he said “no-one in Italy makes ice cream the way it used to be”. This was the spark that ignited setting up Grom – to make pure authentic ice cream and taking no shortcuts. All of the ingredients of the highest quality – the milk; the free-range eggs; the fruit picked when it is at its ripest in season; no flavourings; no preservatives; no emulsifiers.
Initially the friends opened a gelateria in 2003 in their home town of Turin and quickly queues formed snaking round the corner. Carlo Petrini even wrote an article about them and their ice cream which did taste the way it used to be. Other gelaterie opened in Italy and then in cities round the world like London and New York. But the final piece of the jigsaw puzzle was to make ice cream in a tub to be sold commercially. Was it even possible to make an ice cream using the best possible ingredients without adding aromas, colouring agents or emulsifiers? After much research and testing they succeeded in putting pure authentic Grom gelato in a tub. This is now available here from Waitrose and Ocado - chocolate, pistachio and salted caramel. And the vanilla ice cream? It is made with vanilla seeds, fresh whole milk, free-range egg yolks and sugar. The result - creamy flecked with seeds tasting like ice cream used to taste.
Gelato come una volta
Grom Vanilla Gelato Ice Cream Tub
460ml tub £7