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As soon as the warm weather comes back, the ice cream counters are becoming the high places of gathering for the summer. There is nothing more popular than these spots for gourmets where tourists, students, suited business mans, lovers and families stand in line for gelato, while exchanging words on the weather and comparing their favourite flavours.

And nothing more cute than a group of toddlers from the nearest day care, with their little cotton hats, waiting nicely in line along their rope for their icy treats. Do you like Gelato? We love it! And we have search for you in Québec area for the cream of the cream. But first some explanation about the star of our summers.


The word “ Gelato” simply means ice in Italian. And if we eat several of them, we should say Gelatis for plurial. But what is the difference between the Italian ice cream and the industrial ice cream? First, the quality of the products used in the fabrication. No additive or chemical coloration is added in the process, only first quality ingredients; fruits purée, nuts, high cocoa level chocolat, pure vanilla, ect. Then the texture, witch has nothing to do with the level of fat, depends on the way of mixing and freezing. The industrial ice creams are being injected an average of 50% of air in the liquid mix, against only 20% for the gelatis that are made with the rules of art.

Let`s talk about the fat. The Italian ices are made with dairy products, such as the nuts or chocolat ices, witch holds about 3 to 8%, as opposed to about 15 to 18% for the other ice creams. The reason? They are made with milk instead of cream, except for a little tiny portion. And the sorbets, witch are ices with fruits, got 0% fat because they are made exclusively with fresh fruits, either with the pulp of the fruit or naturals sugars. With such density and a sugar level never above 10%, we understand where their wonderful concentrated taste comes from .It feel`s like biting into a whole basquet of strawberry or raspberry, a mango or a chunk of dark chocolat.

Iceberg of the cities…

In the Povince, there are very few real Gelatarias that are making exclusively authentic Italian Ice creams. Usually they are being bought in bakery, chocolat shops and home made products shops. But our Capital is lucky enough to have one of the best Italian ice cream in the Province: Tutto Gelato, who remains the absolute reference.
For height years, the ice master Giacomo Donati makes with passion about thirty variety of ices and sorbets in his adorable place on St-Jean street. We know it is authentic gelato because he has established very high quality standards, duplicating faithfully the Italian recipies, and even creating some of his own. His customers are septics in front of the competition and don`t easily belive that anybody can do as well as Giacomo.

The café-bakery Paillard, who just opened within St-Jean doors recently, is also proposing of 32 ices and sorbets, home made Italian style. Léonie Lemay is in charge of the production, after she attended an intensive training in Montreal. She gladly admit that several customers ask her if her ices are as good as Tutto. I invite them to taste different flavours and I explain that all our gelatis are made from scratch and with first quality ingredients, as opposed to others that use concentrated bases to make their ice creams. Here our quality standards are very high and we are working on making our own flavours to stick out. Miss Lemay is very proud to say that her ices are made everyday along with the Italian tradition. At the Paillard Bakery, you can find sorbets in flavours such as : litchis, pineapple, pink grapefruit and mandarine next to some cassis, pear raspberry and green lemon, just to name a few. For the ice creams, classic vanilla, Chocolat, tiramisu or pistachio are completed by creations with white Chocolat, caramel and coffe. Kids can even taste a bubble gum flavoured gelato, a non traditional choice for experts.
Glaciers of the fields…

In the small town of St-Jean, Ile d`Orléans, Christiane Morel is an other passionate of quality and who reject any compromise. Specialist of products such as cassis and Island berries like raspberries and strawberries, she has been making for quiet a few years some jellys, jams, vinegars, fruit butters that are very popular here in Québec. She is using the same very first ingredients to make sorbets with perfect texture that exploded in the mouth as the fruit concentration is very high. So good! Her Italian ices are worth the trip, made everyday in small quantity, the real Italian way.

Near Cacouna, at the junction of roads 20 and 132, we can find another national treasure: Les glaces Ali Baba. Established in 1975 by Jean Marc Dubé, this extraordinary counter is a must stop if you are on your way to Gaspesia. Mr Dubé is using eggs, cream, milk, and fruits from the producers in the area to create is fabulous Italian ices, with the freshest nuts and the best chocolat. Trained in Milan, this perfectionist controls himself all the production steps of his gelatis. He created unique flavours such as tea sorbet and blueberry blackberry ice cream. We often tried to find out is secrets or to buy him out of his business but without success, for the great joy of his fans!