Spend Locally: Salt Spring Gelato

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Owner: Marck and Lauren Shipley
Website: Salt Spring Gelato
E-mail: [email protected]
Phone: 250-537-4434

Salt Spring Gelato is a small artesian gelato and sorbet company on Salt Spring Island--their claim to fame: being (as far as I know) the only Canadian company wholesaling organic gelato and sorbetto. Pretty cool stuff! They also use the most high quality ingredients they can get their hands on, local and organic whenever possible, including using certified organic milk from the island and from Avalon dairy in their gelato. Some of their flavourings like their chai gelato and black currant gelato come from other small businesses on the island, as it's one of their priorities to help support the other farmers and producers in their community. Their sorbettos are dairy-free, which makes them great for vegans and those with food allergies. They are even a carbon-neutral [Wikipedia] company, and work with Lifecycles' Fruit Tree Project--how cool is that?!

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But how does it taste?

Salt Spring Gelato just began wholesaling to West Van's Whole Foods a few weeks ago, so now you can try it out if you are in Vancouver! I picked up a carton of the Blueberry organic sorbetto for myself and the Chocolate Bliss organic gelato for a friend to try since I can't do dairy and Marck recommended it as one of his favorites. (Click here to see the full list of amazing flavours they make.)

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The verdict: yummy, and different than most ice cream/gelato/sorbetto. It's very much "natural" tasting--not overly sweetened, simple ingredients. The blueberry sorbetto really just tastes like fresh blueberries smashed up with a bit of sugar, go figure! And it's not totally blended, as you can see, there are little chunks of pulverized blueberry in there. As someone who used to go nuts eating frozen blueberries as a kid, this is definitely a plus! My friend's report on the chocolate was very similar--that it actually just tasted like good quality chocolate, not overly sweetened. If you're a purist and like your food to taste like exactly what it is made up of, mainly a minimal number of high quality ingredients, you'll probably think this stuff is worth splurging on.

Available currently at Capers and Whole Foods, but hopefully more places soon!