“To enjoy gelato as much as one savors coffee in the morning,” is the mantra of Chef Sheldon Shen Jega who was cited by a local daily to be the only one in the Philippines today to have produced the best medical gelato right in his three-year-old workshop in Barangay Apas, Cebu City.
Many with health issues, or health buffs maintaining their ideal body mass, may shy away from ice cream but definitely treat gelato the opposite, he said. The point is that there is a number of benefits a consumer gets from gelato but such is outshone by the affordability of industrial ice cream, and the myth that gelato is “just exactly the same frozen product but with an Italian label.”
WHAT MAKES GELATO SPECIAL
According to the Singaporean chef, who prides in his 22-year romance with food, gelato is a form of ice cream. In Italian, gelato means “frozen.” But unlike commercial ice cream, gelato is made of only the finest milk, little cream, very little sugar. In Sheldon’s mixtures, eggs are a no-no. This is based on his Sicilian influence while in London for professional practice. The rest is a mix of fruits and nuts — and all the other lovely flavors like rich Belgian chocolate, Baguio strawberries, ube halaya or sweetened yam, Arabica coffee and even simpler flavors like Moringa (the Cebuano comfort veggie malunggay) to support local farmers as a social responsibility.
Sheldon’s Gelato is actually medical gelato. Since it is guaranteed low in butterfat, the mixture doesn’t leave a greasy aftertaste. Gelato is also denser. Therefore, it doesn’t numb your mouth. You enjoy most the intensity of flavors.
Sheldon’s Gelato further assures their products are safe for consumers with lactose intolerance. As mentioned, milk is fresh, pure and fine. Not powdered nor skimmed. As products are non-glycemic too, these can be well recommended to diabetics who struggle with their sweet tooth nature.
Sheldon’s Gelato doesn’t give you a feel of those ice crystals. The mixture is so smooth it slides down the throat with fluidity. The technique here is that gelato is churned warmer, unlike industrial ice cream that’s churned lower or colder. The warmer it is churned, or churned slowly for a shorter amount of time, gives it a denser feeling in your mouth. It can be served in warmer temperature.
SHELDON’S DESSERT FACTORY: ARTISAN GELATO
Just recently, Sheldon’s Dessert Factory: Artisan Gelato opened their kiosk at SM Seaside Cebu near the Sky Park where scoops may be handed out in gourmet waffle cones, tubs, or dainty cups.
“We just have to be competitive with prices, conscious of our discriminating market, but without having to compromise quality. Our vision is to create a lifestyle of eating gelato the way we normally have a cup of coffee to perk up our day,” Chef Sheldon added.
A former educator and now working as a freelance writer. Simply living her own version of life’s passion – music, mobile photography, story telling, road trips and food trailing! 🙂