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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Uber is delivering Messina this Friday

Fridays are pretty great any week, but we thought we’d make this Friday just that little bit sweeter. If you haven’t heard of UBER yet – ERM, WHAT…where have you been?

We’re partnering with Uber to deliver you Messina this Friday, July 24, between 11am and 5pm. That’s better than free water and mints.


– If you haven’t used Uber before, download the Uber app and create an account. New users can enter the promo code ‘ICECREAMOZ’ when signing up in the PROMOTIONS section of the app to get a tub of Messina FREE.
– Existing Uber users can enjoy a 470ml tub of ‘uberX Scoop’ delivered for $15.
– Open the Uber app on Friday, July 24, between 11am – 5pm
– Set your location and request the “Ice Cream” option. If successful, a tub of delicious Messina will be at your door within minutes.

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GELATO CLASS: Tell us what you think


We’re planning our next instalment of gelato classes, and we wanted to know what you guys think. We posted it on Facebook, but it seems you guys need a little incentive ;).

We’ve got together with those monkeys who are great at creating surveys to host 6 questions about our classes. Take the survey and we’ll add you into the draw to win 2 x tickets to a GELATO APPRECIATION CLASS in Sydney. PLEASE RESPOND BY MIDNIGHT on TUESDAY 23RD JUNE!



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No.1# Scoop Dogg



ARE YOU OUR NUMBER ONE SCOOP DOGG? To celebrate our instagram account reaching 100K followers, we are holding our very first gelato god immortalisation ceremony. Immortalisation in gelato land means the chance to co-create & name a flavour with us. This honour will be bestowed upon whoever can post the best instagram video based on the following idea:

“I’m the number one scoop dogg”

TO WIN: Submit a photo or a 15 second (or less) Instagram video by SUNDAY 5th JULY 2015. You gotta tag #MessinaScoopDogg and @gelatomessina to enter

THE PRIZE: The winner will be invited into Messina HQ to co-create a flavour together based on your favourite things. We’ll back and forth on the funniest name for it we can think of and then we’ll have a gelato god immortalisation ceremony. You will be forever remember in the gelato world as “the number one scoop dogg”.

terms & conditions

* Entries must be received by midnight Sunday 5 July and must tag #MessinaScoopDogg and @gelatomessina in the post. The must be posted on instagram
* The final winner will be decided by the Messina panel. Our decision is final. No fighting
* If you post something offensive, we probably won’t consider your entry
* We’re not responsible for any copyright infringements or take downs of videos should you use music or images from anyone else
* The flavour will be sold in our stores as a special for 1 week as per a normal Messina special. If it’s REALLY good it may re-appear from time to time. Date of it’s release is at the discretion of our Head Chef
* The name & the flavour have to be approved by our Head Chef, or there’ll be trouble
* There’s only one Messina Scoop Dogg. Winner will be tagged on Instagram to announce win
* We will not be held responsible for any irresponsible behaviour or excess gelato eating by the Messina Scoop Dogg

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We tried to keep it a secret for a little while (not very well to be honest!), but there was no hiding from you guys when we first stepped our gelato-making feet into our new store in Swan Street, Richmond.

As our Fitzroy store is bursting at the seams somewhat (and we love you all for this), we decided it needed a little brother or sister to keep him warm and in good company this winter. Now Richmond locals can get a lick of the action.

We’ve turned a pre-loved pizzeria around pretty quickly – the bun was in the oven for three short months and now we’re ready to welcome it to the world (almost anyway!).

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Are you excited yet? Ermm.. no.

Sorry, we know it sucks and we actually feel a little bit nervous about it, but the time has well and truly come.
We’ve been talking about it for about 6 months but we’ve been kicking the can down the road as they say.
I think we just like when people end their sentence with ‘…and you are so cheap compared to everywhere else!’
What a sad bunch we are…

Our current prices are definitely way cheaper than most (we’re sure of that bit) .. and we ‘hope’ the quality has always been pretty darn good (this bit is more subjective).
The truth is we’ve always very deliberately tried to be the cheapest AND the highest quality purveyor out there.
It’s a nice sentiment, but the reality is its not actually very easy when you literally make everything the hard way.
We could bore you with the reasons but you probably know them.. and we don’t want to sound like that really ernest guy at a party who thinks he’s your best mate.

Some interesting facts (probably more so designed to justify it to ourselves than anything else)
– The 500ml tub has been the same price since we opened in 2002. It’s quite ridiculous.
– The last price increase we had was in 2012, and we only increased one item (the 2 scoop).
– Cake prices are not changing.
– Pretty much everything has been underpriced for years considering the way we make our gelato and indeed the products we use.
– We did some research and we’re confident we are still quite cheap (check below handy table of prices from 20 other stores – *names have been excluded to protect the innocent).

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OITNB pic blog

Prison doesn’t look so bad, if this is what’s for lunch.

Series 2 of Orange Is the New Black is now being served up on DVD… so what better reason than to get into the spirit of the slammer and Piper’s big mouth by making our very own “disgusting” prison lunch.

No thanks to Neptune Produce, and with a little help with the prep from Red, we’ve made a special edition gelato lunch for the lovely ladies of Litchfield.  The nutritious meat and two veg (including dem creamy mash potato’s) has been designed to delight and surprise the lucky inmates.

Snatch yourself 1 of 50 MESSINA’S MAX SECURITY LUNCH’S at the Messina Dessert Bar in Darlinghurst from Wednesday at 12pm.

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We made something cool for MAY THE FOURTH (National Star Wars day, geddit…?)

Head to the Dessert Bar in Darlinghurst, Sydney, this week to try one of these. Soft serve single origin dark chocolate gelato with raspberry puree and sugar beam lasers…oh and a coating of DARTH black chocolate. 

Only until stocks last this week.

Star Wars cone

Got an allergy? Contains GLUTEN & DAIRY so please don’t eat this if you’re allergic to anything 🙂

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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.


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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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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