The warm weather is on the way and Raglan Gelato is delivering the taste of summer packed in a tub.
The creamy creation of foodies Lars and Hanna Allouard, Raglan Gelato is on offer via contactless sales at the Old School Arts Centre kitchen every Saturday from 12-5pm.
Blending traditional gelato-making with products from around Whāingaroa, the couple use Dreamview milk and locally-sourced fruit, and they hope to keep the flavours as close to home as possible.
“We’re going to work with the seasons as much as possible. It’s citrus season at the moment so we are juicing as much as we can and freezing so we can make citrus sorbets or gelatos throughout the year,” Hanna says.
Keeping it as local as possible, they are keen to utilise excess fruit people may have on their trees.
“There are so many fruit trees here in Raglan that are overflowing with fruit,” she says.
While Hanna’s background is in the food and hospitality sector, Lars has come to the food industry with a passion for flavourful food.
“I did cabinetmaking for so many years that it was time for a change. And I like food better than I like furniture,” Lars laughs.
“Lars is a really good chef, he really knows how to put flavours together,” Hanna adds.
Lars is the brains behind the recipes and it takes a lot of mathematical ability to get the right combination of ingredients.
His love for the gelato-making process is so intense, he even attended online classes at the Carpigiani Gelato university in Bologna, Italy.
“They have the maestros of teaching gelato-making in the old way. Without additives and without shortcuts,” he says.
Such is his dedication to creating authentic gelato, Lars did the course on Italian time, and for three weeks he went online from 7pm to 3am.
His gelato instructor Gianluca Degani is famous in Italy for his high-quality gelato and writes articles for a bimonthly publication on artisan gelato.
“He taught me a lot and even now if I have a question, I just send him an email and he gets back to me the next day,” Lars says.
The couple are kept super busy with their new baby Adam, but they say he is very relaxed and fits in with their gelato-making venture at the Old School Arts Centre kitchen.
Despite the uncertainties with Covid, the pair are spending their time getting their stock up.
They are also waiting for a gelato cart to be delivered from Italy, which will keep their frozen treats at the ideal temperature when they are able to start selling at the Creative Market.
As well as gelato flavours of pecan, chocolate, pistachio, vanilla and more, they are also making sorbets including mango, grapefruit-ginger and raspberry-beetroot sorbet.
All the flavour profiles are natural and come from the fruit, vanilla beans, chocolate, nuts, and other ingredients.
“If you look on the back of the supermarket ice cream packet there are so many ingredients there which we don’t touch. It also has a lot of air incorporation which means it is ready to scoop,” he says.
Like a good wine, Lars explains, gelato needs time out of the freezer before it’s ready to scoop.
“It’s a good sign if you can’t get your spoon into it when it has come straight from the freezer. You need to let it sit for about five minutes before you enjoy the first scoop” he says.
For contactless sales visit the Old School Arts Centre kitchen every Saturday from 12-5pm. To find out more about Raglan Gelato check them out on Facebook and Instagram @raglangelato