For the actual day of love, we decided that we had saturated ourselves in enough romance, with our weekend away and the shiny shisha, so we made it a family outing day instead. The weather these days has been so beautiful. It is warming up, to be sure, but it’s not to the blistering heat stage, so we can actually enjoy an afternoon stroll along the water’s edge. I had read in the paper about The Gelato World Tour making its appearance in the shadow of Burj Khalifa. Nothing says family time like gorging on gelato.
The Gelato World Tour is a competition for artisan chefs to showcase new flavours that they have developed. Entry is free, with the gift of one free taste taste. If you wanted to try any other of the 16 flavours, a ticket could be bought that would also entitle you to casting a vote for your favourite. I thought that since the 4 of us each got one free taste taste, buying 2 tickets (which gives 5 taste tests each) would give us a well rounded view in order to be able to accurately choose our favourite. I had no idea that the taste tests would be such generous portions. Even with all 4 of us sharing each tester, we were bloated and sick by the end. But have no fear! We were able to wade our way through the sea of gelato, emerging on the other side with the 2 choices that stood out from the rest.
Vote 1: Rosewater and Pistachio. It was refreshing and uplifting. The addition of candy floss hair on top gave it a whimsical experience akin to carefree childhood. This flavour came in 2nd in the competition!
Vote 2: Mastaca with Pistachio. The presentation was at first off-putting and, yet, intriguing. I usually link pine cones with a nature walk, and thus, dirt or mud. Or else, I connect pine cones to crafts and Christmas decorations. Nevertheless, we decided to try this flavour and were more than pleasantly surprised by this sleeper flavour. The mastic gum can lend itself a pine flavour that hits at the back of the tongue with a strong subtlety that had us returning for more rather than using our final 2 tickets on flavours we hadn’t tried yet. While this flavour did not win the favourites vote, it did win Peer Mention, which I take to mean that the other chefs found it to be remarkable as well – and proves to me the refined natures of The Mister’s and my palates.
The winner of the competition was Cremo Bueno. If I had been independently voting, this would have been one of my choices. It tasted like Ferrero Rocher in a cup with creamy gelato goodness all around. When I tasted it, I exclaimed, “I want to smash my face into it!” I wasn’t exaggerating. There is some personal vindication knowing that this one won without my vote, and I’m happy that we voted for the other ones. I did find it awkward to have the chef RIGHT THERE during the taste test, especially when I didn’t like the flavour. I’m not really good at internalizing. My internal monologue is broken. As is the ability to control my face.
The surprise of the day was Lola, age 8, saying that she was tired of eating ice cream and refusing to eat anymore. I never thought I’d see the day.