Cool customers: Earlsfield cafe owners celebrate reaching semi-finals of Gelato World Championships

The Italian husband and wife team behind an award-winning Earlsfield cafe are celebrating reaching the semi-finals of the Gelato World Championships.

Elisa Peloni, 34, and Fabiano Franzoso, 48, who opened Cremoloso Gelato in Garratt Lane in 2017, heard last month they are through to the next round to be held in London in 2020.

Gelato Festival, a highly prestigious travelling competition dedicated to finding the world’s best gelato, rewarded the creativity of Cremoloso head chef Fabiano’s signature flavour amaretto salato at Canopy Market Kings Cross.

Fabiano said: “I can’t explain how thankful I am for the opportunity to be part of this incredible adventure. Elisa and I are already researching and thinking about the next round.

“As you progress through the competition, the standard of the other competitors’ entries becomes higher and higher, that is the challenge.”

Elisa Peloni and Fabiano Franzoso who run Cremoloso Gelato in Earlsfield
LUCKY: Elisa said she and Fabiano have the most beautiful job in the world

The gelato Fabiano created for this round, amaretto salato (salted amaretto) combined almonds, salt, meringues, amaretti biscuits, caramelized sugar, and a sprinkling of chocolate chips.

I sample this award winning gelato when I visit Cremoloso and can report it’s luxuriantly silky, a perfect combination and balance on the tongue of salt, sweet and yielding crunch.

Cremoloso creative director Elisa said: “We are continuously developing our recipes to combine great taste and texture, using the best ingredients we can source, balanced with the least sugar possible.

“We make our gelato on the premises from scratch every day and we consider ourselves incredibly lucky because, to us, it is the most beautiful job in the world!”

Elisa and Fabiano left their home in Northern Italy to pursue their dreams of opening a gelato shop in England.

In their first year of trading, Cremoloso won Best Business for Marketing and Social Media and Highly Commended in the New Business Category at the Wandsworth Business Awards 2018.

This year has brought further recognition. In addition to Gelato Festival London, they have been shortlisted for South London Business Awards Best Cafe and Best New Business.

Cremoloso has a strong ecological ethos, the café is 95% plastic free using compostable spoons, takeaway containers and cups.

Their gelato sorbets are dairy and fat free, suitable for vegans and, at 89 calories a scoop, a healthy sweet option.

The most popular flavours among their customers are chocolate, pistachio, strawberry and mango.

Fabiano’s favourite flavour is black cherry, while Elisa favours pistachio and Bacio, a rich chocolate and hazelnut gelato.

Creating gelato is both a science and an art; a small laboratory in Italy supports them when they are developing new recipes.

Fabiano said: “Right now, I am developing a new mandarin flavour, which is not quite ready.

“When you are coming up with a new flavour, you have to do a lot of maths to get the ratios of ingredients right.

“Elisa gets the first taste when I am trying a new recipe, then friends at home and customers, I ask them what do you think about this flavour? I absorb all their comments and then come up with the final version myself.”

The couple have developed an appreciation of their adopted home’s wry humour.

As early 2019 brought evermore protracted Brexit negotiations, Elisa and Fabiano were inspired to create a gelato to reflect the current political situation.

WENT DOWN A STORM: The Brexit Mess gelato will be back in September

Fabiano said: “We were talking about Brexit, what was going on at the time and saying it’s really a mess, and then we thought what would Brexit taste like as a flavour? I created it in just a few hours and I was really happy with it straight away, which is unusual, so we knew it was something special.”

In February Cremoloso launched a limited edition Brexit Mess gelato; a dizzying combination of fine 70.5% Belgian chocolate, orange zest, cherries, meringues and caramel, billing it as ‘a real mess to blow up in your mouth’.

Located in a borough where 75% of residents voted remain, Cremoloso’s Brexit Mess gelato went down a storm with customers.

Elisa said: “We decided to make this flavour and we had a lot of fun with it. We appreciate the difficult situation, what is going on and everything behind Brexit, but obviously at some point we have to smile as well.

“Our Brexit Mess was very popular, we wanted to play down a situation that is certainly not easy and I have to say that all the customers have appreciated that and smiled when they tasted the flavour.”

They plan to bring Brexit Mess back into their rotation of flavours in September ahead of the new deadline for EU departure.

Elisa added: “Our ultimate goal would be to serve our Brexit Mess gelato to our new Prime Minister, Boris Johnson, so he can enjoy it as well.”

The couple celebrated their 10th wedding anniversary last month and have big plans for the future:

“Our next step is to open a second shop. We want to create new flavours, inspired by what’s happening around us, like what we did with Brexit Mess, which will return next month.”

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