Popular in Europe and South America, the stylish Gelateria Parmalat shops are popping up in hot spots (Miami’s South Beach) and chillier climes (Rochester, N.Y.), and will soon hit L.A., Boston, San Francisco, and San Diego.
Uh, what’s gelato? It’s Italian ice cream, which is made with 30 percent cream (and thus contains less fat than American ice cream).
Parlor talk Even cooler than the ice cream is the Gelaterias’ design. The steel-and-glass interiors have a high-tech gleam; employees sport crisp white pants from hospital supply stores. South Beach’s model scene just eats it up.
Fave flavs Gianduia (chocolate with walnuts) and straccitela (chocolate chip).
Hey, isn’t Parmalat that weird, unrefrigerated milk? Yup, but it’s just milk rendered sterile before opening by a special ultra-high temperature (UHT) process. (Sorry you asked?)
Will my Parmalat cone last forever? No, silly, it will melt. But if you must know, Parmalat’s gelatos and sorbets are made fresh throughout the day.
Should Baskin-Robbins be worried? ”We don’t consider them competition, because we see our product as completely different,” says Parmalat’s Giselle Nasser. ”We’re gelato, they’re ice cream. But I know they’re very scared.”