Disclosure: I was invited to visit Pidapipo Gelateria as a guest
Cool marble counter, shiny Pizzetti lids, raw concrete walls and bright pops of colour amongst fresh fruit and Italian produce on the shelves. Pidapipo Gelateria has reopened in Carlton, with a whole lot of style.
I, like many I’m sure, was greatly saddened when the Pidapipo Pop Up closed down, as besides Spring Street Gelato, Pidapipo had my favourite gelato in town. But then news of their reopening, in a permanent home this time, lifted spirits again, especially since it’s now just around the corner from the pop-up location (so one doesn’t have to go too far)! In what seemed like a flash, the shop has gone from construction site to very stylish and European gelateria.
I had the pleasure of getting a sneak peek before opening date and having a little meet and greet with Lisa Valmorbida, bright-eyed and bursting with energy, who enthusiastically took us through her now 20 flavours available.
So exciting. I felt just like a kid in a gelato store…wait a minute…
Lisa’s actually got a background as a chef, and spent some time working at Donovan’s where she felt she needed to specialise in something, and found she always gravitated towards the patisserie and sweet side of things. With her Italian background, she noticed a gap for really authentic Italian gelato, and made the jump (or flight I guess) to Italy, where she went to the Carpigiani Gelato University to learn how to make gelato.
Just for the record, surely that’s the best university to exist ever?
Her dedication and hard work have certainly paid off, as each flavour we tried, which are made fresh each day with the best ingredients she can find, are simply delicious. Not just in richness and authenticity of flavour, but in the simply stunning texture her gelato’s also have.
Some of my favourite flavours of the night included the peanut butter, which is just a burst of flavour in the mouth and intensely creamy; the pistachio, one of my favourite’s in town, which actually tastes of nuts with a lovely strong flavour; and Christmas pudding.
Yeah, you head me right. Christmas pudding. All cinnamon, raisins and rich spices. It actually tasted like Christmas. We had so much of it they ran out the night we were there!
As you can tell, I’ve got a bit of a bias towards slightly richer flavours, but fruity flavours like watermelon, rockmelon, pineapple and passionfruit did not disappoint. Nor did the bannoffee. Or the bacio. And the coke float flavour, a special for about a month, made in collaboration with Raph Rashid of Beat Box Kitchen, is surprisingly tasty too!
Lisa also introduced us to Luca Calcaterra from La Formaggeria in St Kilda, who makes the ricotta she uses in her ricotta, honey and cinnamon gelato. The honey she gets from Honey Fingers, who’s set up a rooftop hive on the roof (obviously)!
It takes just eight minutes once the gelato mix is made and put in to the machine, for the gelato be made. Like most things, it’s simply divine fresh. The texture just can’t be compared, as it’s so dense, velvety and smooth, and even better when topped with a dollop of honeycomb, compliments from the hives upstairs as well. So, so, so good and a perfect marriage with the ricotta ice-cream.
The honeycomb will be available as a topping, so do make sure to try it out, along with never ending running chocolate that comes out of a tap…that wasn’t working on the night we were there, but should be by now!
Lisa will also be offering frappes made from the gelato, as well as brioche, which the gelato is scooped into and topped with whipped cream. Take all my money, take it now!
I know I always get excited for sweet things, hell I get excited for just about anything delicious and food related, but believe me, I’m really excited that Pidapipo is back and with vigour from today (12th of December). Even though I’m sure the cosy little space is going to get crowded, you’re gonna see a lot of me here, probably with the pistachio gelato in hand and a goofy grin on my face.
Like a kid in a gelato store…
…wait a minute….
299 Lygon Street