A Fairy Bread Messina Shake Special is now in stores

FANCY A FAIRY BREAD SHAKE?

First, there were our standard shakes, which we’ve been doing since way back. Then we introduced our SHAKE SPECIALS and boy, have they been delicious.

This month, the specials are here to excite the kid in all of us. Just when you thought they couldn’t get any better, we’ve gone and outdone ourselves.

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MESSINA ADDITIONS – OUR CHOCOLATE MACHINE

Messina’s labour of love has never been so relevant when telling the story of our chocolate making machine.  Imported and shipped from Italy and installed in Rosebery (Sydney), this beast was custom designed for us to make all of our white, milk, dark and nut blended chocolate from scratch.  We import cocoa butter and cocoa mass from Ecuador which is mixed with sugar, milk and nuts (depending on the type of chocolate).  Each chocolate recipe is formulated to blend seamlessly into our signature flavours, specials, and event products; which you’ve all secretly been eating for the last few months.

Since we’ve completed the project and successfully trialled it through our stores and events, it’s now time to tell the story.

Watch this video to hear our founders and owners Nick Palumbo and Donato Toce discussing why Messina chose to go on a chocolate production pilgrimage and what this means for our future as a brand.

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GETTING SMASHED FEATURING TIRAMISU ‘SMASH’

tiramisu smash gelato cake

Our TIRAMISU ‘SMASH’ cake is designed to GET SMASHED and he’s a big fan of his serving style.

This isn’t one bring to nan’s house for afternoon tea, or for the light hearted, it’s more to get smashed and share with your friends due to it’s epic 16 person serving size.

Loosely based on a traditional northern Italian tiramisu but with a twist, this gelato cake is a hell of a lot more fun!  Consisting of  a white chocolate, coffee ‘bowl’ filled with layers of tiramisu gelato and lady finger biscuits. This is finished with Italian coffee meringue and dusted with cocoa. Finally, top and centre is a ball made from white chocolate, rolled in coffee beans & dark chocolate filled with a coffee and marsala gel.

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THAT’S MINT. REAL MINT

All about them ‘Erbs & our Choc Mint Gelato

Every mound of Choc Mint gelato you’ll see in the cabinet in-store contains 5 bunches of mint – picked, washed & juiced. Fresh mint. Actual mint like the stuff that you muddle into a mojito. Before it gets to looking like this…some minty moments need to happen…

Thanks to @copywritermath@crazal for this drippin’ image

What’s up with mint?

We often get customers who try our Choc Mint flavour for the first time come back to us only to tell us that something “isn’t quite right” with it. They often come back with very confused looks on their faces, as the flavour they were expecting isn’t the one that they have in front of them. Most people expect a fake;  toothpaste or after dinner chocolate kind of mint flavour that we’ve become so accustomed to over the years. This kind of flavour is peppermint oil, artificially extracted and used in things like chewing gum, toothpaste & of course other choc-mint ice creams and gelatos.

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NOT EVERYTHING IS AS IT SEEMS

‘STABILISERS’ ‘AINT A DIRTY WORD (OR NUMBER FOR THAT MATTER)

At Gelato Messina, we’re passionate (verging on obsessive) about the creative process and make our gelato from the very best, real ingredients. But all gelato makers say that right?

Not all stabilisers are created equal

If you’re into the science (which is pretty interesting when you get into it), Messina Head Honcho Nick Palumbo knows quite a lot about the subject – he lets off some stabiliser steam and explains why ‘stabilisers’ isn’t as much of a dirty word as you think…

There are a multitude of stabilisers that go into every day foods. In general terms you could call them ‘thickeners’ (a far less frightening word). They are designed to enhance the structure and ‘mouth feel’ in common everyday foods like ice cream. They achieve this because they have a high molecular weight, which consequently means they are a super absorber of moisture and this is how they ‘thicken’ a liquid. It’s a property that’s very important in products like ice cream. If any free flowing water is present in a mix, once churned into ice cream, the free flowing water will simply turn to ice. Stabilisers, by absorbing this water in your mix, help prevent this from happening.

Most stabilisers are plant based. Some stabilisers are produced by bacteria feeding off ingredients such as molasses and some are made from either plant or animal fats (the latter usually refers to what are known as emulsifiers which simply bind fat to water rather than absorbing it). Plant based stabilisers are the more common and include gums such as guar or locust bean gum (carob) which are basically the pod seeds ground into a powder.

These have an off white color and are used in tiny amounts. In fact 0.04%, or put another way, for every 1kg of ice cream (roughly 1.5 ltrs) you would ingest about 4g.

Simplified again, for every 100g scoop, you would end up eating 0.4 of a gram of stabilizer.

We often hear about consumer movements against adding stabilisers in food. As an alternative to commercial stabilisers many people choose to simply use an egg yolk to stabilise a mix. This is totally ok for a home cook who wants to prepare an ice cream and consume within hours of production but commercially this is problematic because the stabilizer in an egg yolk which does the “thickening “ is lecithin and lecithin ‘aint that great at sub zero temperatures. It simply breaks down and you end up with water escaping from the mix which in turn becomes frozen water. In other words, you end up with a crumbling mess with poor structure. By adding more egg yolks you can certainly help the structure to some degree, but then every ice cream you make, is laced with an eggy taste. Great, if you’re making a vanilla pod or custard gelato. Not so great if your making hazelnut or choc mint. Its often touted as the more natural alternative of course and indeed, used as crutch to imply the product is the real deal or of higher quality, but the reality is – neither is true.

The unfortunate thing about stabilisers – its not a very sexy name. No matter what they are derived from, they are classed as an “additive” by law and are referred to as such. Accordingly, they must also be labeled with what’s known as an “E” number, which makes anything sound completely unnatural and rather synthetic at best.

But not all E numbers are created equal! Some are definitely not great for your digestive system and some have even been linked to cancer, but to treat them all the same and grand stand on the fact you ‘don’t use stabilisers’ and imply that you produce a superior product is a bit of a furphy. The opposite may well be true.

Take the eggsample of egg yolks above: Eggs contain Lecithin. Lecithin is called E322. How does ‘E322’ roll off the tongue for you? Doesn’t sound quite as nice as “egg yolk” does it? But E322 is precisely what’s in the egg yolk that creates the ‘stabilising’ effect.

Locust bean gum is known as E410 (my favorite stabiliser) and been used for generations as a thickener throughout the Mediterranean and the Irish have been using E407 (carrageenan) for centuries to make puddings.

To be fair, Carrageenan has had a bad wrap of late, but so did animal fats 20 years ago and now the jury is out on the apparent irrefutable link between animal fats and heart disease. Its now come out that this ‘irrefutable link’ is not so irrefutable because no one can actually show conclusively that high consumption of animal fats lead to heart disease.

Research changes all the time and so do opinions. People will always point to research that supports their argument (just as I am now) but for me, the logical money is on a diet of ‘moderation’. If we do that, we will basically be able to eat whatever we want.

If you eat 1.5L of ice cream for breakfast, then another 1.5L for lunch and then again for dinner, 7 days a week, then maybe you should pay close attention to the additives in your diet.

If you are a once or twice a week 2 scooper, then I really don’t think you could possibly be ingesting enough of anything that could make you sick.

There is a lot more to the world of stabilisers and I could go on for pages and pages (we haven’t even spoken about emulsifiers!) but I wanted use this post to clear up some very basic misconceptions about stabilisers and explain why we use certain ones. In summary, we only use plant based stabilizers, the ones we do use are very safe and have been used for centuries.

Incidentally, locust bean gum has the same safe rating as Lecithin, the stabilizer you find in an egg yolk.

NP

If you want to learn more about the real science of gelato making, we’re making our own little library of cool (excuse the pun) information about gelato and everything involved in making it the Messina way.

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GELATO VS ICE CREAM – WHAT’S THE DIFFERENCE?

Most people think gelato and ice cream are the same thing. They are very similar, however, there is a difference!
Gelato is the Italian word for ice cream derived from the Latin word “gelātus” (frozen). Gelato is lower in fat because it contains less cream and more milk, and is churned slower resulting in less air and a richer flavour.

If you really want to be a gelato pro, swat up on the facts below:

– gelato has a lower fat content than ice cream

– gelato contains less ‘air’ as a filler than ice cream giving it a much richer and delicious flavour

photo of gelato

Gelato is made with milk, cream, various sugars, and ingredients such as fresh fruit and nut purees. It is simply the Italian word for ice cream, derived from the Latin word “gelātus” (meaning frozen).

BUT, gelato is actually different from the traditional recipe of ice cream because it is lighter, having a lower butterfat content than traditional ice cream. At Messina we also use more milk rather than cream.

To put some percentages on it, gelato typically contains 4-8% fat, versus the 14-16% found in ice cream. Gelato also contains less air than most ice cream and is therefore more dense and rich in flavour. Scoop for scoop, you get more gelato than you would ice cream.

Now you know the difference, that makes it the perfect excuse to get two scoops surely?

Check out our flavours here

gelato vs ice cream

 

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NOT EVERYTHING IS AS IT SEEMS

‘STABILISERS’ ‘AINT A DIRTY WORD (OR NUMBER FOR THAT MATTER)

At Gelato Messina, we’re passionate (verging on obsessive) about the creative process and make our gelato from the very best, real ingredients. But all gelato makers say that right?

If you’re into the science (which is pretty interesting when you get into it), Messina Head Honcho Nick Palumbo knows quite a lot about the subject – he lets off some stabiliser steam and explains why ‘stabilisers’ isn’t as much of a dirty word as you think…

There are a multitude of stabilisers that go into every day foods. In general terms you could call them ‘thickeners’ (a far less frightening word). They are designed to enhance the structure and ‘mouth feel’ in common everyday foods like ice cream. They achieve this because they have a high molecular weight, which consequently means they are a super absorber of moisture and this is how they ‘thicken’ a liquid. It’s a property that’s very important in products like ice cream. If any free flowing water is present in a mix, once churned into ice cream, the free flowing water will simply turn to ice. Stabilisers, by absorbing this water in your mix, help prevent this from happening.

Most stabilisers are plant based. Some stabilisers are produced by bacteria feeding off ingredients such as molasses and some are made from either plant or animal fats (the latter usually refers to what are known as emulsifiers which simply bind fat to water rather than absorbing it). Plant based stabilisers are the more common and include gums such as guar or locust bean gum (carob) which are basically the pod seeds ground into a powder.

These have an off white color and are used in tiny amounts. In fact 0.04%, or put another way, for every 1kg of ice cream (roughly 1.5 ltrs) you would ingest about 4g.

Simplified again, for every 100g scoop, you would end up eating 0.4 of a gram of stabilizer.

We often hear about consumer movements against adding stabilisers in food. As an alternative to commercial stabilisers many people choose to simply use an egg yolk to stabilise a mix. This is totally ok for a home cook who wants to prepare an ice cream and consume within hours of production but commercially this is problematic because the stabilizer in an egg yolk which does the “thickening “ is lecithin and lecithin ‘aint that great at sub zero temperatures. It simply breaks down and you end up with water escaping from the mix which in turn becomes frozen water. In other words, you end up with a crumbling mess with poor structure. By adding more egg yolks you can certainly help the structure to some degree, but then every ice cream you make, is laced with an eggy taste. Great, if you’re making a vanilla pod or custard gelato. Not so great if your making hazelnut or choc mint. Its often touted as the more natural alternative of course and indeed, used as crutch to imply the product is the real deal or of higher quality, but the reality is – neither is true.

The unfortunate thing about stabilisers – its not a very sexy name. No matter what they are derived from, they are classed as an “additive” by law and are referred to as such. Accordingly, they must also be labeled with what’s known as an “E” number, which makes anything sound completely unnatural and rather synthetic at best.

But not all E numbers are created equal! Some are definitely not great for your digestive system and some have even been linked to cancer, but to treat them all the same and grand stand on the fact you ‘don’t use stabilisers’ and imply that you produce a superior product is a bit of a furphy. The opposite may well be true.

Take the eggsample of egg yolks above: Eggs contain Lecithin. Lecithin is called E322. How does ‘E322’ roll off the tongue for you? Doesn’t sound quite as nice as “egg yolk” does it? But E322 is precisely what’s in the egg yolk that creates the ‘stabilising’ effect.

Locust bean gum is known as E410 (my favorite stabiliser) and been used for generations as a thickener throughout the Mediterranean and the Irish have been using E407 (carrageenan) for centuries to make puddings.

To be fair, Carrageenan has had a bad wrap of late, but so did animal fats 20 years ago and now the jury is out on the apparent irrefutable link between animal fats and heart disease. Its now come out that this ‘irrefutable link’ is not so irrefutable because no one can actually show conclusively that high consumption of animal fats lead to heart disease.

Research changes all the time and so do opinions. People will always point to research that supports their argument (just as I am now) but for me, the logical money is on a diet of ‘moderation’. If we do that, we will basically be able to eat whatever we want.

If you eat 1.5L of ice cream for breakfast, then another 1.5L for lunch and then again for dinner, 7 days a week, then maybe you should pay close attention to the additives in your diet.

If you are a once or twice a week 2 scooper, then I really don’t think you could possibly be ingesting enough of anything that could make you sick.

There is a lot more to the world of stabilisers and I could go on for pages and pages (we haven’t even spoken about emulsifiers!) but I wanted use this post to clear up some very basic misconceptions about stabilisers and explain why we use certain ones. In summary, we only use plant based stabilizers, the ones we do use are very safe and have been used for centuries.

Incidentally, locust bean gum has the same safe rating as Lecithin, the stabilizer you find in an egg yolk.

NP

If you want to learn more about the real science of gelato making, we’re making our own little library of cool (excuse the pun) information about gelato and everything involved in making it the Messina way.

Continue Reading

THE TRUTH ABOUT PISTACHIO GELATO

If you’re a regular Messina visitor, you may have noticed our pistachio flavour is not always available, and when it is, it has a very distinctive flavour, unlike any other gelato you’ll in America (or Australia for that matter). Why, we hear you cry?

Messina founder Nick Palumbo and Head Chef Donato Toce explain:

Pistachio gelato is the most counterfeited flavour of all the gelati.

The reason for this is purely financial. The cost of the nut itself is about 3 to 4 times that of most other nuts.

Specialty gelato ingredient manufacturers generally have 3 types:

The first type is made with Pistachio, Almonds & Chlorophyll (green colouring). These pastes generally cost around $25 per Kilo and is used by about 85% of all gelato retailers around the world, including Italy! It is by far and away the most common paste and the flavour this paste gives the gelato is basically what the world has unfortunately come to associate with “pistachio gelato“.

The second type is a pure pistachio paste, usually made with pistachio from Iran. These are lightly roasted (more for dehydrating the nut, rather than actually generating a roasted flavour) and then ground to a paste. It accounts for about 10% of the market and costs between $50-$60 per kilo. It yields a good quality gelato, but visually lacks the vibrant green colour you would get with the first type of paste discussed above.

The third variety is basically the same as the second type, but the pistachio’s come from Sicily, Italy. This variety is by far the most expensive. It accounts for about 5% of the market and costs between $60-$80 per kilo. To be even more specific some gelato producers claim to use a Sicilian pistachio from a specific region called Bronte, a town at the foot of mount Etna rich in volcanic soils. For this you’re paying around $90 per kilo and this is what is generally accepted as the best pistachio nut in the world. Many claim that they use this pistachio paste, quite fraudulently! Its basically the paste that everyone ‘says’ they use when doing media interviews or marketing their product. Most of the time they don’t and its complete fib!

Then, finally there is a fourth type of paste. This is the type we use –  it’s made with pistachio nuts that have the reddish skin taken off. This paste is not made by ‘ingredient manufacturers’ as the market for it is too small due to cost. As such, it can only be found in gelato bars around the world that actually process their own nut.

We can say, quite confidently, that there would probably be less than 10 gelaterias around the world that do this with a genuine Sicilian pistachio nut and none of them, besides Messina are in Australia (and now Vegas).

This resultant flavour is the most prized because the removal of the reddish, bitter and earthy skin, gives the paste a sweeter and fruitier taste. If you use pistachio’s from Bronte, buy it peeled and process it yourself, the cost is around $110 per kilo (plus processing costs).

This is why the pistachio at Messina is so truly pistachio green. When you mix red and green you get brown, by using a nut without the red skin, the paste keeps its fluorescent green colour. Unfortunately, most people when confronted with a gelato made with pistachio nuts without skin, question its authenticity because it’s a flavour that most seasoned Pistachio lovers have never tried or mentally associate with ‘Pistachio’.

To cap that off, the problem with making your own nut pastes is that unless you buy very specific refining machinery, you can only get the paste ‘particle size’ down to about 60 Microns. At 60 micron, you do get a bit of a gritty mouth-feel which some people find mildly off-putting. As many of you have noticed we tried a different technique recently and with slightly different machinery (to try and speed things up) – the result was questionable. Suffice to say, it wasn’t overwhelmingly embraced with love and affection by pistachio lovers. We are now back to our old method of production that allows us to get the paste down to 25 microns. At this grade, we can reproduce the same texture as bought pastes but maintain the same ‘real’ flavour we’ve produced in the past.

As some of you may have noticed, we had been playing around with some different methods of producing our pistachio gelato. We adjusted our processes based on the seasonality of the pistachios. The result was a gelato that had a different, grainy-er mouth feel. Many of our loyal customers immediately noticed the changes and felt that the older recipe was better.

It’s a shame that 85% of people that ‘think’ they know what real pistachio gelato is, is not actually made with real pistachio but is rather a mixture of pistachio, almonds and green food colouring. Unfortunately, we’ve all been tricked!

We make no apologies for trying to make a better product but we do recognise that our version is not for everyone. Taste is very subjective and some people just like ‘pistachio flavour’ better than the real things and that’s totally fine with us!

Whatever floats ya boat!

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