Ingredient Explanation

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. So it’s only right that we extend the same transparency to you.

Plus, a number of the ingredients we use come from some amazing producers we want to support, so we’re happy to help spread the love. Without further ado, here’s a plain-English explanation of our approach and what we use.

Click on each item to see more detail.

Claims & Certifications

WHAT WE HAVE, DON'T HAVE, WANT TO HAVE, AND WHY

All-natural = Yep | certification N/A

To clear something up…there is no FDA-set definition of “natural” or “all-natural”, so it’s wise to be skeptical when you see these claims. We like to think we use it the way it was intended, i.e., “comes from things that grow”. So nothing artificial, no preservatives, no weird derivatives of things (search the term ‘natural flavors’ and you'll see how it's anything but), etc.

Organic = Mostly | non-certified

We aspire to be a 100% organic product, but we’re not quite there yet. Sometimes it’s hard to find what we seek: organic AND minimally processed AND kosher AND vegan AND tastes really really good. And sometimes we find it but it’s prohibitively expensive or has crazy high minimum volumes. But we also recognize that all organics are not created equal when it comes to pesticides, herbicides, and gmo…so for example, we will always use organic berries, but vanilla beans are pretty much all grown using organic methods regardless of whether they’re certified or not. Here’s our breakdown by flavor:

GMO-Free = Yep | non-certified

GMO’s can be tricky as they lurk in hidden places. That’s yet another reason we choose organic whenever possible -- organic is by definition GMO-free. But in the few areas we can’t find what we need organic, we’ve talked with our suppliers (and often their suppliers) to do our best to avoid any GMO ingredients.

Kosher = Some | certified

All of our gelato is certified kosher pareve by the Orthodox Rabbinical Board of Broward & Palm Beach Counties (ORB). Please look for the symbol to be certain.

Gluten-Free = Yep | non-certified

Our gelato has no gluten ingredients, however it is made on shared equipment that is also used to process products with gluten. The equipment is fully cleaned & sanitized prior to use.

Aside from the gelato, everything in our scoop shop is also gluten-free except the waffle cones which are made with wheat flour. Because we make those on-site, we are not at this time able to guarantee that there is no cross-contamination. If you have a sensitivity you will be fine. If you have celiac or a serious allergy, you would be best avoiding it at our shop.

Vegan = Yep | non-certified

Everything we make is 100% vegan. We use no animal products whatsoever. However, our gelato is made on shared equipment that is also used to process products with dairy and egg. The equipment is fully cleaned & sanitized prior to use.

Carbon Free = Not yet | non-certified

From the outset and as we grow, we are continually looking for means to reduce and offset our environmental impact. Merely having a vegan product goes a long way, but we hope to move down the path toward zero impact as we move forward.

Ethical/Sustainable Certifications = Where applicable and possible

Fair-Trade, Rainforest Alliance, Utz, Food Alliance, etc...we’re lumping these together as there are so many with slight differences, but they all get at more or less the same thing: treating the people and the land well, so that they can both survive and flourish. They’re most common with tropically produced agricultural goods (e.g., coffee, chocolate, vanilla), and we seek them out when we can. But it’s also something we evaluate on a case-by-case basis: often there are producers who meet or exceed the criteria but can’t afford the certification. Check out our Ingredients Used below for more detailed information.

Ingredients Used

Coconut Cream (organic)

From: South Asia

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!

 

 

 

Cane Sugar (organic)

From: USA or South America

How it is made: It’s made by taking the juice from sugar cane and boiling it down so that 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: This one’s obvious, right? It makes it sweet and helps create 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.

Cashews (organic)

From: Tropical regions

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!

 

Coffee (organic, rainforest alliance, fair-trade)

From: Selva Negra, Nicaragua

How it is made: The beans we use are from the micro-roaster Beanealogy, owned by Steve and Heidi, a husband-and-wife team in Atlanta. The ultra-sustainable Selva Negra farm in Nicaragua has been in Heidi’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: “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.

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.

Vanilla

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 a worldwide shortage as of late), there's nothing like it. We primarily use Lochhead or Nielsen-Massey, two of the oldest vanilla producers in the US and some of the best in the world. The quality of flavor is noticeably superior and comes through richly in the finished gelato.

Orange Juice (conventional)

From: Florida

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%”. (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'. 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

From: USA (Orange, organic), Guatemala (Cardamom, conventional)

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 and Gum Arabic

From: Worldwide

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 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 really pretty innocuous (and may 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

Sea Salt

From: Sonoma

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: Make flavors pop. No additives like in table salt.

 

 

PHOTO CREDITS (via photopin cc):

Coconut Cream - John Revo Puno

Sugarcane - c.mcbrien

Cashews - dbking

Guar Bean - tonrulkens

Sea Salt - WILLPOWER STUDIOS

Coffee - br1dotcom

Vanilla - Augustine Fou

Orange - basykes

Spices - Martin and Kathy Dady