Transparency is important. We want to know what’s in our food, and go to great lengths to make sure that the ingredients we use in our gelato fit our high standards for taste and integrity. We're meticulous in our efforts to source the premium ingredients we use and are happy to share the details with you.
At its core, our amazing creamy texture comes from combining premium coconuts, cashews, and pure cane sugar among other carefully selected, clean ingredients.
And we’ve hit on all the right notes. Revolution Gelato products are organic, non-GMO, vegan, kosher pareve, dairy-free, gluten-free, soy-free, egg-free, and ethically sourced, so guilt-free also!
Click to learn more about the following ingredients that we use in our gelato:
Coconut cream (organic)
How it is made: It’s made by blending mature coconut pulp with hot water and straining it. Then it is pasteurized and packaged aseptically (a fancy word for “germ-free”) before being shipped over.
Purpose in gelato: It helps form our creamy base
Why we use it: It has a much better health and environmental impact than traditional dairy! Also note that there have been reports of monkeys being forced to pick coconuts in Thailand. We have confirmed with our supplier that ours are harvested by human employees treated fairly.
Cane Sugar (Organic)
How it is made: It’s made by taking the juice from sugar cane and boiling it down so the water evaporates. It’s then spun in a turbine (like a big salad spinner) to remove some of the molasses. The process stops before going through the bleaching and refining process that regular white sugar does.
Purpose in gelato: It makes it sweet (obviously) and is critical to creating the right texture.
Why we use it: This is the only ingredient we use that we couldn’t really classify as “healthy”…but after exploring the options we think it is a better choice than any of the alternatives. It is less processed and more sustainable than traditional sugar (and certainly better than high fructose corn syrup!). And as it turns out, some of the recently lauded alternatives such as agave nectar have emerged with issues of their own.
We do have significantly less sugar in our gelato than in traditional dairy gelato, and continue to explore options for reducing our sugar content in the future.
How it is made: Did you know that cashews grow attached to an edible fruit (called the cashew apple)? And that their shells are poisonous? So it takes some effort to get them into a usable state. But in short, they’re removed from the fruit, the shell is steamed or otherwise cracked off, and then they are cleaned and packed. These are then stoneground to a smooth paste before they arrive to us.
Purpose in gelato: It helps form our creamy base
Why we use it: It has a much better health and environmental impact than traditional dairy! This is another ingredient that has had reported issues with poor worker conditions at the processing plants. Our supplier gets their cashews from small family farms in Vietnam and has confirmed that the processing plants they use adhere to a code of ethics protecting workers' welfare.
Coffee (organic, rainforest alliance, fair-trade)
From: Selva Negra, Nicaragua
How it is made: The single-origin beans we use are from JavaVino, owned by Steve and Heddy, a husband-and-wife team in Atlanta. The ultra-sustainable Selva Negra farm in Nicaragua has been in Heddy’s family for six generations, so they truly get it direct. One of the unique aspects in their process is that the beans are ‘unwashed’ (hence the name of their coffee line: “Dirty Nekkid”), leaving more of the flavor components intact and retaining the coffee’s inherent sweetness. Only one container of these beans are produced each year. We get the green beans and have them roasted, ground, and cold-brewed to order before using it in our gelato.
In other words, the supply path goes Selva Negra Farm (mother) => JavaVino (daughter) => Revolution Gelato (us)
Why we use it: First of all, we love the flavor these beans give to our gelato. And second, we love their story and want to support other small family businesses like this.
From: Madagascar (organic), Papua New Guinea (conventional) or Tahiti (conventional), Mexico (conventional); all are processed in USA
How it is made: Ah, vanilla. A wondrous spice. It grows on an orchid that must be individually hand-pollinated. Then when the beans are ripe, they are hand-picked, dried, fermented (this is where the flavor develops), and sent to the US for further processing. Once here, they are either ground into powder or macerated and cold-extracted in alcohol for weeks before being bottled and shipped to us.
Why we use it: Despite its incredible expense (there's been an ongoing shortage for the last few years), there's nothing like it. We primarily use Nielsen-Massey or Singing Dog, US producers making some of the best vanilla in the world. The quality of flavor is noticeably superior and comes through richly in the finished gelato.
Alphonso Mango (Organic)
How it is made: Ripe alphonso mangoes have the skin & pit removed. The pulp is pureed, pasteurized, and packaged aseptically. That’s it!
Why we use it: One taste and you’ll know!
Dark Chocolate & Cocoa (Organic)
From: Chocolate (Peru), Cocoa (grown in Peru, processed in Europe)
How it is made: Cacao beans grow in pods and are separated from the sweet fleshy fruit when ripe. They’re left to ferment which begins to develop the complex flavor compounds. Then the seeds are hulled and ground to a paste called “cocoa liquor”, which forms the basis of all chocolate products. To get cocoa powder, this paste is pressed to separate the cocoa butter and the cocoa powder. For chocolate, it gets further ground with the addition of sugar.
Why we use it: Every chocolate manufacturer makes different grades of product. We use the highest quality 70% chocolate and natural cocoa powder – most ice creams are made with “dutched” cocoa powder (you'll typically see that on the label as "cocoa processed with alkali"). What's the difference? Well, dutched cocoa has had one of 11 alkalizing agents added to it. This does a few things: (1) it darkens the color (2) it removes the acidity [and some of the naturally fruity flavors] (3) it removes a lot of the antioxidants. See this article for everything you want to know about that process.
Orange Juice (Organic)
How it is made: Most commercial orange juice does not have the prettiest backstory. And you may notice it tastes quite different from fresh-squeezed, even though it’s “100% not from concentrate”. (Check out Squeezed for more on that.) But ours is different. We get our juice from Florida producers who juice them and lightly pasteurize them before bottling and sending out, more or less to order. No big holding tanks for a year. No 'flavor packets' that don't appear on the ingredient list. Short shelf life. In other words, like it's supposed to be.
Why we use it: The taste is worlds apart from anything else we’ve tried.
Essential Oils (Organic)
From: USA (Orange), Guatemala or India (Cardamom), Italy (Orange Blossom)
How it is made: There are a few different ways of capturing essential oils (for more on what essential oils are, click here). Citrus oils are cold-pressed from the peels. Spices and herbs are typically steam extracted.
Why we use it: Essential oils are very potent – they are what make foods taste the way they do – and using this concentrated essence help us make for consistent flavors. It also reduces our shipping footprint since a small quantity goes a long way. On top of that, they have many reported health benefits.
Guar Gum (Organic) and Gum Arabic (Organic)
From: India (guar gum), Senegal (gum arabic)
How it is made: The guar bean (aka cluster bean) is a legume consumed widely in India. Guar gum is the ground endosperm of that. Now you might be thinking “Wait, what happened to plain English?” Allow an explanation by way of analogy. Flour – the stuff that makes bread – is the ground endosperm of wheat. So guar gum is to guar bean what flour is to wheat.
Gum Arabic (aka acacia gum/fiber) is the dried, powdered sap from the Acacia tree, which is native to Africa. The production process has changed very little in thousands of years (collect, dry, grind, sift). It's pretty much pure fiber, and is less processed than almost any other sap product (like maple syrup)
Purpose in gelato: Together these two plant starches help keep the texture right. Technically they fall in the category of a stabilizer/emulsifier (egg is the original). In a similar way as you might use cornstarch to give a gravy the right texture and keep it together, we use guar and arabic.
Why we use it: There are many choices when it comes to stabilizers and emulsifiers, ranging from synthetic chemicals (= gross) to none at all (= poor product performance). Guar gum and gum arabic are two of the few we're comfortable using – from all the research we've done they're at worst innocuous and at best have some positive effects – and it makes for a much better product.
For more on guar gum, check out this article
For more on gum arabic, check out this source
How it is made: Collect sea water. Evaporate water.
Purpose in gelato: Makes the flavors pop and helps with the texture
Why we use it: Nicer flavor and no additives like in table salt.