A little bit of indulgence never hurt anyone, but we’re firm believers in making every last bit count should we decide to tuck into some dessert. That’s where Florencia Ice Cream comes in – the artisanal shop located in Janabiyah Square was recently named ‘The Best Luxury Ice Cream in the Middle East’ in the 2020 Luxury Lifestyle Awards. We decided to find out what all the fuss was about which led to us having an exceptional taste tour with the woman behind the famed ice cream, Florencia Chaldu.
The first thing we noticed, when we entered the cosy ice cream shop, were the colourful and well-decorated popsicles, and take-home packages in a bounty of flavours. Florencia’s Ice Cream offers a wide range of old-fashioned, authentic gelatos and sorbets – all made with the freshest and most flavourful of ingredients, sourced from across the world.
To start our indulgent experience, we dove into the world of Florencia’s delicious gelatos - masterfully brought together with more than a generous splash of locally-sourced milk. The Pistachio gelato is made with pistachios sourced from the famous Italian region of Sicily which give it a distinct roasted pistachio flavour. This was followed by generous spoonfuls of Dulce de Leche, which is best paired with Chocolate as recommended by Florencia herself. Being a staple at the store, the rich flavour of Dulce de Leche can also be found in their Cookie Dough gelato, Super Chocolate and Coconut gelato among others.
One of the greatest indicators of how good an ice cream shop is has to be their ability to create classic chocolate and vanilla gelatos! So, we were thrilled to find out that the Vanilla gelato is in fact made with vanilla beans that have their full flavour extracted the good old-fashioned way. The Chocolate Mousse Gelato too is rich, creamy and a true indulgence. What truly surprised us though was the texture of their coconut gelato which, like the rest of the gelatos, is free from additives and artificial flavourings, so had the familiar texture of fresh coconut. We then sampled the wonderful Mascarpone cheese gelato which is paired with local dates or orange zest, which is caramelized in house.
My vegan-curious side rejoiced at the idea of their many flavourful sorbets that are (naturally) free from dairy and possess a wonderful full-bodied flavour of the fresh fruit used to make the treats. We sampled the fresh mango, strawberry, raspberry and rose, and finally the extremely refreshing lemon and mint sorbets. If we had to choose just one, though, it would have to be the passion fruit sorbet which has that familiar tangy goodness.
The absolute crowning glory of our tasting experience had to be the wonderful ice cream pops. These little delights are semi-freddo, meaning they have a different consistency from the gelato, and are extremely rich and creamy. We sampled the Pistachio, Chocolate and Hazelnut, and Dulce de Leche ice cream pops which are generously coated with white or milk chocolate. A firm favourite among customers and ours too had to be the Chocolate and Hazelnut which was a truly decadent treat to end our experience with.
We left Florencia Ice Cream with the firm belief that few things can fix a bad day as well as a scoop of rich and creamy ice cream – especially when it’s truly ‘The Best Luxury Ice Cream in the Middle East’!