You guys. I cannot even begin to describe what I experienced earlier this week.
On Tuesday I popped along to the newly opened Swoon Gelato at the bottom of Park St, situated in a prime position directly opposite College Green. These guys know a thing or two about proper Italian gelato.
Swoon is the wonderful creation of Pat Powell and Bruno Forte, siblings with gelato in their blood – their family have been crafting gelato for over 120 years. Their great uncle Zio Pacifico was the first to cross the pond over to the UK in the late 19th century, and brought his gelato-crafting talents along with him.
After studying at the Carpigiani Gelato University in Bologna (YES, that is a real thing! I clearly did the wrong degree) Bruno made the decision to carry on the family tradition and set up a gelateria in the UK. The obvious choice, he said, was Bristol – with our multiculturalism and love of all things food we were sure to welcome a gelato place with open arms. You are not wrong there, Bruno.
After a mango sorbet and prosecco bellini and much Instagramming, it was over to the lovely Stefano from the Carpigiani University and head chef Luisa to talk us through the process of making gelato. Let’s get one thing clear here – gelato IS NOT ice cream, gelato is the smoother, creamier, tastier, sexier Italian cousin of ice cream, and it is far far superior.
It’s all to do with the speed at which the gelato is churned, which is a lot slower than ice cream, incorporating less air and resulting in a much creamier texture – even their dairy-free sorbettos share the same creamy texture as the gelato.
Oh gosh, can we talk about the sorbetto please?! Vegan friends, prepare to kiss these geniuses on the lips – they have crafted a 100% vegan, dairy free, completely indulgent chocolate, yes… CHOCOLATE sorbetto which is just heavenly (even the mango one was delicious, and this is coming from someone who is not a huge fan of mango… but this was delicious).
You might be fooled into thinking that this is just another one of those gelato/dessert bars which seem to be cropping up all over the city at the moment, and that’s where you would be completely wrong. This place represents a proper art and passion behind what they do, and it really shows in the gelato – I have quite honestly (cross my heart) never tasted anything like it.
As well as 16 varieties of traditional favourites alongside seasonal treats, their ‘Swoon on a stick’ gelato pops and monoporzione (that’s miniature pots to you and me) they roast up fresh coffee from experts Extract down the road and even offer take-out if you’ve got a fancy evening of Netflix planned. Yassssss.
Please don’t just take my word for it, pop down to Swoon in gran fretta to see and taste for yourself!
A massive thanks to Swoon for inviting me down for a fantastic taster evening – as always all words and opinions in this post are my own. It’s bloody delicious.