Pipapipo is a new addition to the Lygon Street ice cream/gelato strip and in a prime position across the road from Cinema Nova. You can’t miss it because there is a big red neon sign proclaiming ‘gelateria’ in the window.
According to this fascinating article, you can generally judge the quality of gelati from 15 feet, without actually smelling, touching or tasting the product. You just need to look for a couple of things:
- No fake colours in the fruit flavours.
- How the gelati is stored and displayed.
- Seasonal fruit flavours offered.
- Translucency in the lemon gelato.
- Do they offer fior di latte or fior di panna, which exposes the quality of the milk/cream?
- Do they offer hazelnut – gram for gram the most expensive gelato to produce?
Pipapipo scores 6 out of 6 but it really deserves a taste test.
The marble counter curves around the width of the relatively small, pastel-coloured shop. There are a few tables inside and out but it’s more of a walk-in, walk-out scenario.
Every day up to twenty flavours fill stainless steel pozzetti, which keep the temperature of the gelato constant so it doesn’t freeze, melt and refreeze. Flavours range from traditional to modern, fruity to rich. Hiding the flavours under lids is a pretty good indicator of how good the gelato will be – there’s no need to show it off in high, brightly hued mounds.
The owner Lisa Valmorbida is of Italian heritage and trained at Carpigiani Gelato University in Italy then worked in a gelateria in Vicenza. The gelato is churned daily on site using the best imported Italian and local ingredients. The pistachios are from Bronte, Sicily, the best hazelnuts in the world from Piedmont, Warrnambool Jersey milk, ricotta from La Formaggeria and the honey and fresh honeycomb from the rooftop hives by Honey Fingers. Absolutely no artificial flavours or colours.
Their hazelnut is powerfully nutty and velvety on the tongue, not a hint of grittiness or powdery aftertaste. The fior di latte is creamy and pure in flavour – it requires no adornment, not even vanilla beans (the traditional no-flavour flavoured ice cream).
I like my gelato simple but you can jazz yours up with a cone filled with liquid Nutella or Valrhona chocolate on top, sandwiched inside a fat Sicilian brioche bun or even thrown in a coke float (an ice cream spider in my vernacular).
For the quality of the goods the prices are very reasonable too – $4 for a single flavour, $6 for two flavours and $7 for three flavours. 1kg take home tubs are $10 and prettily wrapped in their pastel-coloured geometric paper.
Pipapipo is my new favourite gelateria – I was invited to their launch and have been back almost weekly since. With this heat wave we’re experiencing no doubt they will do very well this summer.