Lauren Weiss is an alumnus of Columbia whom I met at the media networking night a few weeks ago. She is currently working for Divino, a unique gelato start-up. Divino’s trademark is gelato-stuffed fruit coming in five different flavors: amalfi lemon, black diamond plum, ciaculli tangerine, roman kiwi, and apulian peach. Each of the names points to the place in Italy from where the fruit comes, in an effort to transport you to these locations when eating the gelato. Lauren was kind enough to give me her two highest recommendations, the ciaculli tangerine and the apulian peach.
The packaging of the gelato is very nice. The colors are bright, and each fruit is placed in its own box with a spoon and a paper holder for the fruit. Once the fruit is taken out of the box, it is meant to be opened along the pre-cut lines so that you can eat out of each half. Divino is trying to put its own spin on gelato, working in competition with the many other gelato brands that have recently become popular.
Gelato means ‘ice cream’ in Italian. In Italy, there is a standard amount of butterfat that an ice cream must have to be considered gelato. However, the FDA has not issued any requirement for gelato so most frozen ice cream or sorbet treats can be considered gelato. Gelato is usually healthier than ice cream, because it often times contains fewer calories, sugar, and fat than ice cream. The Italian city of Varese is where gelato gained much of its popularity during the 1920s and 1930s. Today, it is very well known and widely loved.
The flavors of Divino that I tried were not creamy, but very refreshing and light. They resembled sorbets, since they did not have the creaminess usually associated with gelatos. The tangerine was tangy and sweet with a slight bitter after taste, which helped to balance the sweetness. The apulian peach had a smoother texture than the tangerine, which was more icy. The flavor of the peach gelato tasted fresh, and not as if it were from concentrate. It was very sweet, for me a bit too much so, but my friends did not mind. The fun part is that the gelato is in the skin of the fruit, so you can scrape around the edge to get even more flavor. The skin of the peach can even be eaten, but, be warned, it is cold and can chill your teeth!
It was a treat to get to try these gelatos. They were both delicious and refreshing. The sizes are quite small, about the size of a small scoop of ice cream, so make sure to have your own.