Decades before the book “Eat, Pray, Love” was popular, my heart led me to explore the sights, sounds and flavours of Italy. I was 19 years old and had only just arrived in Rome, when a hot blooded Roman, astride a smokey grey Ducati, cruised up beside me and asked me to the movies. Who could refuse? The rest is history.
It only took Alessandro three days to propose over a pizza near the Spanish Steps. I was speechless. Logic was rolling the absurdities of the situation around in my head, but my heart begged to differ. Three coins in a fountain later I was living in Rome, my head in the clouds, not speaking a word of Italian but knowing that this is where I should be.
Somehow, the language barrier was never an obstacle for us. Whenever we couldn’t understand each other, we just stop talking, enjoyed being in love, and ate gelato. We ate A LOT of gelato back in those days. And, this is how I became a gelato expert!
Now, 25 years later, Alessandro and I are back in Ottawa and, alongside our three children Zachary, Erica and Matthew, we’re starting the Gelateria we’ve always dreamt about. Our mission at Stella Luna Gelato Café is to make you fall helplessly, head over heels in love with gelato…and share a few laughs while we’re at it.
Ours is love story infused with passion – for both our family, our roots and our gelato business.
Watch our story on CTV’s “REGIONAL CONTACT” http://ottawa.ctv.ca/servlet/an/local/CTVNews/20111202/ott-stella-luna-gelato-cafe-111202/20111202/?hub=OttawaHome
In Italian “gelato” means frozen. However, over the years it has come to mean “frozen pleasure”. When I first dreamed of opening a gelateria, I loved everything about gelato. I knew what a good gelato tasted like; I knew what kind of consistency it should have; when it was fresh and when it wasn’t. I knew how it should look and how, with the right decorative topping; it could become a work of art. The only thing I didn’t know was how to make it! Yikes. But, as I always tell my kids, every problem has a solution. My solution was Gelato University!
I wanted to be able to make gelato from simple and wholesome ingredients found in my local market rather than with pre-measured powdered mixes. So, last winter, I packed my bags and travelled back to Italy – the cradle of gelato making, to attend the most reputable and successful Artisan Gelato training centre in the world. Now with my Master Training under my belt, and a million innovative ideas, I am bursting at the seams and eager to share them with you.
What Makes Perfect Gelato?
Gelato is both a passion and an art form. The secret to perfect gelato is in the art of meticulously balancing recipes and paring foods. It’s in the freshness and the quality of the ingredients in the products we serve. Stella Luna gelato and sorbetto is prepared fresh, on site, from scratch, every day. We infuse all our gelato bases for a minimum of 12 hours to naturally intensify the flavour. Each flavour has its own unique recipe and is made using only the freshest, premium ingredients without any artificial colour or flavour. We infuse the passion and pride we share for well prepared food into each recipe.
How does gelato differ from ice-cream?
Gelato has a lot less air whipped into it than ice-cream making it much denser. It has a much lower milk fat content than ice-cream (hence fewer calories – in fact, gelato only contains about 5% – 8% fat compared with premium ice-cream which contains approximately 16%….BTW – sorbetto has ZERO fat…yahoo). The low fat content makes the flavours of gelato exalt. Gelato is served at a higher temperature giving it a softer consistency (so your taste buds don’t freeze up when you need them most). The essence of authentic gelato is freshness and unlike ice-cream, it doesn’t have a shelf-life and should be made in small batches. A true artisan gelato should have an intense, fresh and natural taste, a silky smooth texture and a dense structure.
We look forward to sharing it with you,
Tammy and Alessandro Giuliani