What does it take to make a dream come true? Getting the recipe right certainly isn’t simple, especially in a city like Milan: even the right ingredients in perfect proportion don’t necessarily ensure the result will be everything you hoped for. It takes an extra effort – a propensity towards risk that only those who know how to be bold have. Passion, dedication, determination, commitment, a dash of insanity and the magic ingredient, the one bringing everything together and making the impossible possible: love. That’s how Q.B. Gelato was born – from the love of a family looking at the path towards happiness through the work together with shared passion. It’s a natural ice-cream like you’ve never tasted before.
People make the difference, and in this case, two siblings: Marco Picchioni, 28 years old (the man of the house), and Valentina, the older sister who wakes up at the crack of dawn every morning to bring her dreams to life. They work with their mother, Vilma. The woman goes every day to the fruit stand opposite their shop – located in via Aristide De Togni 30 – to choose the best fruit and get inspired by the colors that the seasons bring to the table. That’s how every new recipe is born: from experimentation, curiosity, and endless tests performed with four hands in the small laboratory, in full view of customers, by the mother and her daughter.
People acquainted to this industry know the difference between handcrafted and natural ice-cream, and here, natural products are created with the utmost professionalism (they’re certified by the Gelato Naturale Academy). What does this mean? Every single flavor is made from scratch without using any semi-prepared ingredient. A genuine product that’s good and healthy for you. Take, for example, the crown jewel of their ice-cream flavors: salty pistachio nut from Sicily. The nuts are toasted and peeled in-house in order to make a pesto and then seasoned with rose salt from the Himalayas. It doesn’t take much, right?
You won’t find thousands of flavors – only the right ones to stimulate your palate. Have you ever tasted Bread, Butter, and Jelly? People who grew up in the 90’s, like me, couldn’t ask for a better way to relive magic moments like summer breakfasts at Grandma’s house… They were simple, but enough to make us happy. And then there’s salty caramel, greek yogurt with organic Acacia honey, and “Lara” walnut with black fig compote for people who like full, creamy flavors. But there’s also green apple, lime and ginger, pineapple & rosemary and exotic cream – a flavor that will carry you away to that corner of the globe where it’s always summer. For those who are strictly gluten free, people with Celiac disease, and vegans, there’s no need to worry – you can choose a gluten free cone, all the fruit flavors and the extremely popular Extra Dark (made with single origin Peruvian cocoa beans) as they are all water based.
Q.B. also offers coffee, super fresh water ices, and pastries in order to round out their menu. Fancy a croissant stuffed with gelato for breakfast? It’s becoming quite popular here, as are the various pastries made in the laboratory: cookies, tarts, and all the jams you like.
Last June they also open a second shop in via Bergamini 7 (now closed for the winter season), right behind the Università Statale. It’s furnished with the same fresh and minimal taste as its predecessor in Sant’Ambrogio, but here, the students go crazy for the Frozen Yogurt. It’s made in-house with 80% natural yogurt and the same crunchy toppings used for the gelato.
And then there’s the cherry on top: packaging, cups, and stirrers are made out of recyclable materials. If get it delivered at your doorstep, the packaging is just as good as the content, and you can phisically separate the flavors so their integrity remains intact.
These are stories of metropolitan dreams that can take your taste buds for a ride through space and time, stories that make Milan the city that we all love so much. Made with a few ingredients – just enough.