Location: 307 Queen Street West, Toronto
Mizzica recently opened a second location at Queen and John, and clearly they haven’t missed a step because the gelato I just tried was absolutely fantastic.
Actually, I think this flavour perfectly encapsulates Mizzica’s greatness. It’s a bit of an odd one, and almost certainly wouldn’t have been much more than an interesting novelty at any other gelato shop. Here, on the other hand, it was surprisingly delicious.
That flavour? Gorgonzola, mascarpone, and pistachio. Yes, that gorgonzola, the famous Italian blue cheese.
It’s honestly shocking how delicious it is. The gorgonzola flavour is actually quite pronounced, and yet it totally works as part of this sweet scoop of gelato. I couldn’t even tell you why or how. It shouldn’t. But it does.
The sweet pistachio paste that they top it with complements it perfectly, and the whole thing is luxuriously creamy and so much better than you’d imagine. With a lot of weird flavours like this, even when I like them, I think, well, I never need to have that again. But this was legitimately delicious. I could eat it a million scoops of it.
Location: 2340 Council Ring Road, Unit 104, Mississauga
The Arabic ice cream they’re serving at Pinochi is pretty fascinating; it’s made with mastic (which is actually the resin from a type of tree), and it has an unusual, ultra-chewy texture that’s surprisingly addictive.
If you’ve never had it before, however, it’s going to be a bit of a shock. It’s so incredibly dense and chewy that it’s pretty difficult to eat with a spoon (a fork and knife are probably advisable). It’s deeply springy, with an almost chewing-gum-like texture that eventually melts in your mouth. It’s very, very different from traditional ice cream, but once you get on its wavelength, it’s quite enjoyable.
Pinochi serves it rolled and then sliced, with a generous amount of crushed pistachios on its exterior, giving it a great nutty flavour. The mastic has its own flavour, too; Wikipedia describes it as tasting of pine and cedar, and yeah, that’s probably right. The taste is quite subtle, but it definitely adds its own unique personality.
Pistachio ice cream is a tried-and-true flavour, but between the taste and texture of the mastic, this one is very much its own thing, and it’s great.
Location: 1183 Dundas Street West, Toronto
I love croissants. I mean, who doesn’t? They’re crispy, they’re fluffy, they’re buttery, they can be sweet, they can be savoury… they’re one of the world’s perfect foods, and there are few things more delightful than eating a really great one.
Well, Geste Croissanterie specializes in the stuff, and as you’d hope, they’re great. I tried a sweet one and a savoury one, and they were both seriously delicious.
I started with the smoked salmon sandwich, which they make with a croissant that’s been formed into a ring like a bagel. The croissant itself is top-notch; it’s super flaky and buttery, with a great contrast between the crispy exterior and the tender interior. But the rest of the sandwich isn’t an afterthought, with some seriously good smoked salmon that’s definitely a cut above the stuff you can buy at the supermarket.
But it was the pistachio pain au chocolat (which the man behind the counter said is their most popular item — and I can absolutely see why) that really blew me away. I’m sure it helped that it was clearly super fresh, but oh man this was easily one of the best things I’ve eaten in a while.
It features that same outstanding croissant base, which is filled with tasty chocolate and a gooey pistachio paste (I wish I had taken a picture of the interior so you could see how glorious it is). It’s very sweet, but not overwhelmingly so, and the balance of all of the components is absolutely perfect. It’s so good.
Location: 160 Baldwin Street, Toronto
Kensington Market seems like the kind of area that should have a whole bunch of ice cream shops, but it’s surprisingly slim pickings. There’s a location of Dolce Gelato, a temporary outpost of Good Behaviour, and now this place — but that’s about it.
(There have been other shops over the years, of course, but the turnover in this area is bad even when there isn’t a pandemic to deal with.)
Boho Gelato has a pretty standard assortment of flavours, though there are a couple of unique ones. Rosewater particularly caught my eye; I don’t think I’ve ever seen that in gelato before. It’s a common ingredient in Middle Eastern desserts, with a very unique flavour that’s somewhat of an acquired taste (I hated it with a passion as a kid, but it eventually won me over).
The gelato itself is definitely above average, though it didn’t knock my socks off. But that rosewater flavour is clearly a winner. I got it with a scoop of pistachio, and not surprisingly, the two flavours go perfectly together.
Cherry Sundae at Tom’s Dairy Freeze
I mean, come on: if you go the whole summer without going to Tom’s Dairy Freeze at least once, was it really the summer? I submit that it was not. It’s certainly not the most exciting ice cream joint in the city, but they’ve been pumping out consistently great no-frills soft serve for decades, and it’s a million times better than the stuff you’ll find at chains like Dairy Queen or McDonald’s. On this particular visit I got a sundae with chocolate ice cream and cherry sauce, and yeah, that’s a great combo. The sauce is excessively sweet (it tastes like maraschino cherries in a thick syrup), but then that’s kind of the charm of a place like this.
Roasted Almond and Sicilian Pistachio at Soma Chocolatemaker
I’ve mentioned before that Soma serves some of the best gelato in the city, and yeah, it’s still top notch. I recently tried roasted almond and Sicilian pistachio, and both flavours were rich, creamy, and deeply flavourful.
Malai Kulfi and Mango Chocolate Chip at Nani’s
I don’t think I need to spend more time on this blog on the greatness of Nani’s Gelato. I’ve thoroughly covered that. So I’ll just say that on a recent visit I tried malai kulfi and mango chocolate chip, and both flavours were unsurprisingly fantastic. Malai kulfi, in particular, had that perfect Nani’s balance of a unique flavour and amazingly creamy gelato. As for mango chocolate chip, I’ll admit I was a bit skeptical about the combo of mango and chocolate, and… to be honest, I’m still skeptical. But the mango ice cream was so delicious that I thoroughly enjoyed it, despite the flavours not working particularly well together.