The Perfect Scoop: Gelato, Ice Cream or Both!
By Karen Hawthorne
A sweet, creamy scoop of handcrafted Italian gelato or home-churned ice cream is, by popular consensus, the perfect treat on a hot day. Cone, cup or whipped into a milkshake, the refreshing treat is a must-indulge—especially when it’s made with expert TLC by someone who knows the science behind the delectable creation.
At the Perfect Scoop in downtown Port Perry, owner Bob Moore turns out gelato as if he’d been taught by the masters in Florence. It’s so intensely flavourful and smooth on the palate, even tourists visiting from Italy say his product is just as excellent as the gelato they’d have at home.
“I use premium flavours, like pistachio and hazelnut, imported from Italy, and fresh fruits, not frozen,” Moore says, including seasonal local berries. His flavours are always fresh and made in small batches, each sampled to make certain everything is perfect (hence the shop name).
But the secret is the process, he explains, with the use of high-end equipment and natural emulsifiers that bind the water to the fat in the milk. “You’re looking for the viscosity, how nice and smooth it flows,” which ultimately determines the texture and scoop-ability of the dizzying array of 37 different kinds on offer.
The No. 1 seller is chocolate gelato, which is Moore’s personal favourite as well. “I could lose myself in chocolate gelato,” he says.
When you talk about Moore’s perfect gelato, ice cream and sorbet, it becomes a conversation about pharmaceutical terminology and chemistry. He’s been a pharmacist for more than 30 years. When he’s not at the Perfect Scoop (Shermy Freeman, also a member of the Surfrajettes band, is the manager), you’ll find him a couple blocks away at Pharmacy Associates of Port Perry.
Basically, he went from compounding pharmaceuticals into capsules for consumption, to the chemistry of making fine chocolate truffles (which he loves to gift to family and friends), then body soaps for family, and then ice cream and gelato. After an intensive training course in the food science of ice cream in Las Vegas and an artisanal gelato course in Woodbridge, he became even more passionate about filling his home ice cream freezer.
The question we all need answered here is: what’s the difference between gelato and ice cream? Is there one, really? Yes! “Gelato” simply means “frozen” in Italian, but gelato has the advantage of less fat and more flavour than ice cream. Gelato uses a milk base for a cream flavour, like vanilla, or a water base for fruity sorbet or “sorbetto” which is naturally dairy-free.
Gelato is churned at a much lower speed, so less air gets whipped in. And it also come out much creamier and softer than ice cream because it’s served at a much higher temperature of 13 to 15 degrees, instead of being frozen.
Artisanal ice cream has a high percentage of milk fat, so that’s more cream and less milk, which gives it that rich buttery-ness that is so addictive.
The only way to justify the home expense of Moore’s high-end pasteurizer, gelato freezer and other equipment was to open a business in 2013 and share these all-natural scoops of delight with the public. The best part? “People love it,” he says, thoroughly enjoying the shop location in Port Perry.
“It’s a really vibrant downtown, it’s right on the water, there’s a great bunch of business owners and pride of ownership. And there are so many events here, there’s always something going on.”
VIP question: what’s the new summer flavour on the menu to try? “Tahiti Treat with raspberry, pomegranate and orange mixed in a swirl. It’s wonderful.”
My oh my! Who’s in?!
One big beautiful lake. Hundreds of adventures.