City Palate

City Palate - The Flavour of Calgary's Food Scene since 1993

THE HARVEST ISSUE - September October Issue 2018

We all Scream for our Local Ice Cream

by Shelley Boettcher

For many of us, summer wouldn't be the same without ice cream. We eat it in cones and in bowls. We eat it on cake and with fruit. We pour syrup on it, we toss nuts on it and occasionally we dip it in chocolate. And sometimes we just dig it out, spoonful by frozen spoonful, and eat it straight from the carton. But according to Statistics Canada, ice cream consumption in Canada is actually falling. In 2005, we ate an average of 9.85 litres of ice cream per person, but by 2014, that number had dropped to 5.5 litres per person. (Compare that to the U.S. – Americans ate an average of 18.3 litres of ice cream per person in 2015.) Luckily, here in Calgary we're surrounded by top-notch ice cream and gelato makers, all crafting flavours to woo our winter-weary tastebuds. Here, a few to check out:

Fiasco Gelato
#110, 221 19th St. S.E.
Fiasco owner James Boettcher is not related to me. We don't even pronounce our last name the same way. He says BOW-cher (as in bow and arrow.) I say BET-cher. Whatever. I still like what Fiasco makes. A fire last December slowed down the Fiasco team for a while, but the store reopened in April and now offers sandwiches and soup for lunch, along with gelato. New flavours include Fiasco Squeeze sorbetto, a partnership with Village Brewery that's marketed to adults and includes raspberry, lemon and, yes, beer. (It's low in alcohol, so you won't get drunk if you indulge.)

This fall, watch for Boettcher on an episode of CBC TV's Dragon's Den. He can't yet talk about his experience – let's just say it was interesting.

"It's been a crazy-busy couple of years," he says with a laugh.

Don't live in the southeast? Find Fiasco at myriad stores and restaurants, including Calgary Co-op, Sunterra, Boxwood, Bonterra and Posto. Check the website for a full list of retailers.

Gelato 55 at The Italian Store
5140 Skyline Way N.E.
Gio Oliverio is the fellow behind Gelato 55, an offshoot of Scarpone's and the Italian Store in northeast Calgary.

"I manage the distribution centre, and this is just a hobby of mine," he says. But what a hobby. It all started when he found a beautiful gelato case a few years ago. "I just had to have it. I bought it, not knowing what I'd even do with it," he says.

One thing led to another, and before long, he was in Milan visiting a cousin whose friend gave Oliverio lessons in gelato making. Oliverio came back to Calgary and set up shop. He makes smallproduction gelati and sorbets, all only available at the northeast store. With the exception of lemon and pistachio, which are almost always available, the flavours change each week, depending on what's in season.

"It's wherever inspiration and whimsy take me," he says. "I've always had a lifelong love affair with gelato, ever since I was a child."

Made by Marcus
#121, 1013 17th Ave. S.W.
By the time you read this, Marcus Purtzki will have opened his first store. "We're calling it a microcreamery," he says. "It's almost like a microbrewery. We'll have taps to make floats, that kind of thing." Everything will have that Made by Marcus twist: strawberry-hibiscus syrup topping, tonka bean ice cream, real honeycomb, soda made with concord grapes and homemade ginger beer.

Made by Marcus started as a wholesale business, and that won't stop, Purtzki says – good news for fans of his blueberry/lemon curd ice cream. "That has been our number one flavour since day one, followed by raspberry-cardamom," he says. (It's for sale at select retailers around town; check the website for details.) However, many flavours – last summer's mango-ginger-kombucha, for example – are only available for a limited time, something that keeps Purtzki excited about what he does.

"It's cool to see what happens when we can just let our minds go and be creative."

Read the entire article in City Palate