Best Ice Cream/Frozen Yogurt: Ciao Gelato
Go ahead, take a spoonful. Or even two. Lynne and Massimo Romeo, as well as their sons Mirko and Gabri, won’t mind one bit as you sample their delicious gelato. They know you’ll be coming back for more.
Ciao offers a repertoire of 40 gelato flavors, with 18 on hand at any one time. The top three best-sellers, Lynne says, are dark chocolate sorbet, salted caramel and blueberry cheesecake. “We make it all here in-house,” she says. “They key is that we use our own milk and sugar and all fresh ingredients.”
For the fruit flavors, each 8.5-pound batch, or one of those tubs you see in their authentic Italian glass counter, takes two pounds of fresh fruit. They’ll make as many as 30 batches each day during the peak summer season, with mornings dedicated to making pizza and afternoons devoted to gelato.
Now settled into their new location on Seventh Street downtown, the Romeos germinated the idea for gelato when Massimo visited a popular gelato cafe in Italy and fell in love. Not knowing if they could replicate the concoction in the states, they then stumbled upon an authentic gelato company in Fort Collins, and the idea took hold. “It was like being back in Italy,” Lynne says. “We found out that it was, in fact, possible to make it in the States.”
Tutoring at a 50-year-old Italian gelato company’s U.S. headquarters in North Carolina, they returned to Colorado and purchased the Italian gelato machine from the retiring Fort Collins company, and a business was born. “It went from an Italian to an Italian,” Lynne says about the machine. “It was a kind of passing of the torch.”
As for the treat itself, she adds that there’s no comparison. “I love the creaminess of it and how the flavors pop,” she says. “I had ice cream for the first time in four years last summer and I kept waiting for that same pop, but it never happened. As soon as you take your first bite, for 10 minutes all is right in the world.”
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