A brand new artisan gelato being handmade in Bridport?! – when John and I were invited for a tour of Baboo Gelato’s base we didn’t need asking twice. Sam and Annie launched Baboo Gelato in March this year, following a 2 month kitchen fit out and 10 months of recipe, packaging and brand development. Annie trained in Bolognia and all of the recipes are her own.
First to set things straight – gelato is not just the Italian word for ice cream; although alike, there are some distinct differences. Gelato has a lower cream content- it’s mainly milk. Less cream? But isn’t that the good bit I hear you say? Although I am sure I am not alone in loving the unctuous naughtiness of a truly indulgent ice cream, cream coats the tongue, inhibiting flavour receptors- hence less cream, equals more flavour. The crisper flavour profiles mean less sugar is required. Less fat and less sugar?! – though Baboo certainly do not profess to make a ‘healthy’ product, I see this as the perfect excuse for a second (or third!) scoop if ever one were needed!
Gelato is also served warmer than icecream. Cold inhibits our perception of flavour. If you’ve ever made ice cream at home you may have experienced the disappointment of your previously bright fruit flavour or pungent spice becoming considerably more muted once frozen. Hence serving gelato at around -12/-13*C rather than the more usual -18+*C equals more flavour per lick.
On arrival, we were greeted by the deep and permeating aroma of freshly made salted caramel, made, like many of the components here, by hand in the traditional way. That said, where technology can be used to improve a product, they are not averse to employing it. The churning / freezing equipment is the best on the market, imported from Italy. The speed at which it freezes (6 litres every 8-10 minutes) rapidly shrinks the ice crystals resulting in a smoother texture. A second machine part freezes the sorbet they use in their lollies resulting in a softer set result, not at all icy as one might expect. We sampled their passion fruit lolly, half dipped in chocolate. It was outstanding, smooth and silky in the mouth, with an intense passion fruit flavour.
The emphasis here really is on quality and providence. Ingredients are primarily local, often home grown or from the gardens at Forde Abbey and if not locally grown, purchased through trusted local suppliers such as Washingpool Farm. The milk, which is the primary ingredient upon which the gelato is based, is from a family farm in Toller Porcorum. Purchased directly as raw milk, they pasteurise it themselves ‘in house’.
Nothing but the finest will do it seems – to find their pistachio they headed to the largest ice cream fair in the world – in Italy – and samples dozens of varieties until they came upon what is reputedly the best pistachio in the world, grown in the Bronte region of Sicily. I look forward to sampling the resulting gelato very soon!
Baboo Gelato is currently available in approximately 10 outlets in and around Bridport, including Washingpool Farm, Bellas and North Perrott Farm Shop. Their West Bay kiosk opened in May and alongside their fabulous gelatos sorbets and lollies, stocks Reads coffee and Fine Teas from Comins Tea House. Served with a spatula and a smile, it’s well worth checking out.
Kiosk no 5