The next best thing to eating gelato in Italy is eating gelato made by Lisa Valmorbida. Lisa runs Pidapipo‘ a fabulous gelateria, or rather two of them, in inner Melbourne. They are very pretty spaces: loud music pumps as attractive young Italians wearing the signature Pidapipo’ pastel uniform serve gelato with a smile from behind marble bench tops. The gelato is stored in pozzetti (literally “little wells”), deep metal lidded tubs that keep the gelato fresh, ensuring that it is stored at a constant controlled temperature so that it is the ideal consistency when served – and there is no obscenly large mound of uncovered gelato in sight. Flavours are written in chalk on a nearby board daily and if you want to try something – just ask for a taste. The gelato is made from fresh, quality ingredients and the texture is astoundingly smooth – I believe it to be unsurpassed by other gelaterie in Melbourne. You will not find the same flavours every time you visit, in particular the fruit flavours, which are seasonal. I am still dreaming about the “backyard plum” gelato and the “figs, parmesan and honey” gelato, though I may have to wait until next summer to eat them again. It is exciting to see what different flavours there are each week (yes I do go often, my office is a 5 minute walk away) and if in doubt, gelato al pistacchio made with pistachio nuts from Bronte in Sicily never disappoints.
To celebrate il giorno della mamma (Mother’s Day), Lisa and her team rounded up three fabulous nonne (or nonnas if you want to anglicize the Italian word for grandmother) and asked them to inspire three signature gelato flavours. The nonne included Lisa’s nonna Valmorbida, Lisa-Marie Corso’s nonna Corso and my mother (who is nonna to many) nonna Bacchia. Together this trio of formidable ladies attended a photoshoot at the Pidapipo’ store in Windsor last week where Lisa made the three signature gelati, getting their advice on the ingredients for their particular gelato. It was quite an excursion for “”the three nonnas” – I loved chatting to nonna Corso about her arrival in Australia in 1956, and it was so sweet to see the connection between nonna Valmorbida and my mother (who had socialised in the 1950s but not seen each other for many many years). The “nonnas” hammed it up for the cameras as they ate their own signature icecreams, by now slightly melted.
The three gelato flavours are: Tiramisu’ (nonna Valmorbida); Coffee with chocolate and hazelnut biscotti (nonna Corso); and Zesty ricotta with grappa soaked sultanas and pinenuts (nonna Bacchia). The flavour mamma selected is inspired by her wonderful ricotta cake.
The three gelato flavours inspired by nonna will be available at Pidapipo’ from Tuesday 3 May to Sunday 8 May 2016. We took a tub of nonna Bacchia’s ricotta gelato home, which is subtle, smooth and delicious, but I can’t wait to visit during the week and try the other two nonna flavours.
You can find Pidapipo’ Gelateria at 299 Lygon Street, Carlton and at 85 Chapel Street, Windsor.
Photos in this post courtesy of Kris Paulsen for Pidapipo’.