Our gelato is made from 100% natural products. It does not contain preservatives, gelatine or hydrogenated fats. The fat content varies between zero to 8% and it comes from dairy and natural nuts. We only use organic Milk and we also prefer using organic fresh fruit. Our sorbets are vegan and fat free.
Our first dream is to give a child a smile. Our second dream is to do it by making the best gelato in the world. We make awesome all Natural Dream Gelato.
Our store hrs are 10.30am til late Monday to Saturday. Only on Sunday we open at 11.30am. (Pretty much never close before elevenish-midnight).
Our address is 279 Queen Street, Auckland City, New Zealand (Next to the Civic Theater) - Our Phone number is 09 5503677.
where would i be without Giapo and all its greatness! the atmosphere is always bright and vibrant, the staff are friendly, and the sorbets and gelato are out of this world, i have never tasted anything like it. the flavours they come up with sometimes astound me, but when you try them you are taken on a wee trip to somewhere in the world, or an exotic plant, or REAL fresh fruit.
what Giapo does to frozen dessert cannot be described, can only be tried :) you will love it!
Having heard so much about this place, it was simply unthinkable that we hadn't been and tried this place out! A situation easily rectified after a chat with the owner, who agreed to let us come and run rampant across his selection of hand-made, fresh, organically grown or sourced sorbets and gelatos.
Being on Queen Street, right next to the Civic theatre, parking can be a bit of a nightmare, but there are a number of parking options dotted around within 10 minutes walk from the store, and the hassle is well worth it. Heck, take a bus if you have to!
The first impression as you walk in is that this is a shop that would be quite at home in an urban Japanese city - bright colours, a live 'Social Network' media recorder screen in the wall, lots of cartoon characters on the walls, customised furniture with dinky cutouts in them, prominent use of the key character in various ways... and lots and lots of yummy food on offer. Far more than any normal person can experience in a single sitting. Strangely enough, I would have expected all this to overload the senses, and yet it somehow doesn't.
Now, we spent over an hour, sampling at a fairly constant rate... in fact, before we had even finished one sample we were being handed, offered or suggested a new one... and yet with three adults and two children all sampling like this, we still didn't manage to try every flavour, let alone every serving option, and though I direly wanted to try one of their 'Super Cones' - which is a flippin' big waffle cone coated in chocolate and ground nuts and stacked with your choice of flavour(s), I simply wasn't able to fit it in!
I am NOT going to go into the details of all the flavours... each had it's own highlights... but some really deserve particular mention:
• Avocado Gelatto: Unusually impressive. I have heard of Avocado ice cream before, but not a Gelatto... and though I do like avocado in a dip or with roast chicken, I would never have thought of it as a dessert. (Mind you, I used to think the same of Pumpkin too. ) It worked, I swear it did. But it may not be everyone's thing.
• Peach Sorbet: This was so tasty, so delightfully light and refreshing, so addictive, it ought to be illegal! I had to fight the urge to get down on my knees and BEG to take a litre of it home. (The fact that I had about 9 hours until I could have gotten it anywhere near a freezer kinda helped me retain some semblance of dignity.)
• Cocoa Gelatto: By far one of the most astounding ones for me. I love a dark chocolate with a cocoa ranging between 60-72%, anything more than that is too bitter for me, anything less is just too 'soft' on my palate. The creamy richness is delightful in chocolate, but in this case there was no milk in it at all... the 22%+/- of natural fats in the cocoa is more than sufficient. It may be a bit too bitter for some tastes, but if you stick with it, it tastes damned fine by spoonful #3.
• Passionfruit Sorbet: Quite possibly the closest competitor for the Peach's top spot in my line-up. Full-on flavour, rich and creamy texture, a crispness that makes it very clean and light in the mouth. A litre or three of this would have gone down well at home too.
• Peanut Butter and Chocolate: aka Dazzlicious. Think "Reese's Pieces", or a peanut version of Nutella... amazingly tasty to me, but so rich that even a small sized portion was tough to finish. SO worth the effort though.
• Lemonade: Yes, lemonADE, not plain Lemon... amazingly tart, very cleansing on the tongue, and probably a must if you plan to sample some of the sweeter, richer flavours, as a good way to 'reset the tastebuds' between delectables.
Overall, this place deserves every iota of hype it generates. The crew are friendly and bright, and real characters as well. The boss, Gianpaolo, is simply amazing. His ethics are above reproach, the business reflects his heart and passion as well as his commitment to sourcing only the best, natural, organically-grown produce to go into the sorbets and gelato sold. In many cases, Gianpaolo grows the fruit himself, and where that is impossible he sources it from reputable, organic-certified growers (who often are, or become, his customers), and if all else fails he will source from overseas organic growers. It is an object of passion, a social phenomenon, and an institution that is both uniquely Italian yet also pure Kiwi. If you are ever in Auckland, this is an attraction you will NOT want to miss!
I was privileged to be part of the team to turn up to Giapo this morning to review their range of gelato, sorbet and tiramisu. Being the only member of the team who doesn't like dairy, I thought my task would be very reduced. Normally when looking for the dairy free option one is confronted with the ubiquitous mango sorbet or if one is lucky, a lemon sorbet too. So to be confronted with a range of dairy-free options is a real pleasure.
But before I start reviewing the sorbet range, one needs to take a step back and talk with the owner to find out his philosophy behind the brand.
Everything or almost everything is organic (organic where possible) which in itself is a mission to find. Secondly, most of the fruit comes from the owner's own garden - if he doesn't grow it, he has a number of growers who supply the shop with organic fruit - where he can't get it grown in NZ, then he has to fall back on trade sources - one of which is a major supplier of organic produce into New Zealand.
The milk (although I didn't try it) is also sourced from organic suppliers, but what also surprised me is that the water used is not only spring water, Giapo also states publicly on the label the source of the spring water - Waiwera (one of my favourite spring waters).
Every possible care is taken over the manufacture of the gelato and sorbet. All products are made on the premises by the owner and his staff - no mass produced products here. Everything is batch produced with daily specials which I guess will be dependant on whatever is in season.
The price is excellent - I have had a lot less sorbet for a lot more money at other stores. I am happy to say I will not consider going anywhere else now. If the mood takes you, you can even buy litres of your choice of product to take home and share (for me, it is too good to share!)
So, onto the products themselves. I have to state here and now, that despite requiring dairy free products, there were too many for me to sample - and his taste samples were not just a smidgen on a stick but full-sized serves. I did my best and failed to get through the entire menu.
Organic Plum Sorbet - incredible. The flavour was rich with a touch of acidity from the plum. The colour was not enhanced with artificial colours or even natural ones. The colour of the plums shone through in the sorbet. The intensity of the plum flavour was such that I knew I would have no doubts about the rest of the range.
Cocoa - I was surprised to see a 'cocoa' sorbet. Normally the fat of the milk is needed to carry the flavours through to the palate, and they never normally work well in an aqueous base. Giapo have sourced a rich 22-24% Fat cocoa powder. This doesn't mean much to the average consumer, but from a flavour perspective, these high fat cocoas are the best. The flavour of this sorbet was out of this world. The texture was more like a chilled chocolate mousse. Because there is no milk in this product, it is more of a dark chocolate flavour with a hint of the bitterness that comes with a bitter-sweet chocolate and this was very much to my taste. I can appreciate that for the average New Zealander's approach to chocolate (must be milk chocolate or nothing) this may not appeal to some - all I can do is urge you to try it and savour every single drop.
Blueberry - another fantastic flavour. Very rich and fruity and not to be missed. The naturally occuring anthocyanin of the fresh berries gives the sorbet a rich natural colour but again, the flavour was out of this world. Again, this is one of my favourites.
Strawberry - I am never a fan of strawberry. The main reason is that many products use an artificial flavour which is never quite true to type. Most flavour companies use a 'conchord' which is like the bubblegum strawberry flavour. Having a sorbet that is made with fresh grown strawberries is a treat. The rich strawberry flavour balanced with the natural acidity was heaven on the palate. I may never be a fan of strawberry flavoured products, but I will be buying this one again and I really highly recommend it.
Lemonade (not lemon), again, a stunning sorbet with a nice palate-cleansing acidity. This was one I thoroughly enjoyed. Perfect on a hot day and one to serve with meals.
There were a number I didn't try - Mango (I'm beginning to regret not trying it now), Peach - same here too, but I was too full to try it and appreciate it.
Overall, for the non-dairy person looking for something cooling on a hot day you will be rewarded with a huge range to try. You will have a hard job deciding what to try this time and what to try next time. You choices will be far beyond the usual 2 choices - take it or leave it!
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