Because Toronto has a 16-course (!) gelato tasting menu
Think of it as a wine tasting for sweet freaks
There are tasting menus — three-hour meals of bite-sized dishes preciously covered in unidentifiable foams and gels — and then there’s this sweet extravaganza plucked straight from your childhood dreams. Dead in Venice, owner and chemical engineer Kaya Ogruce-Toronto’s very own Willy Wonka of gelato – now offers group tours of his Little Portugal lab, where he creates unique flavors using seasonal ingredients, occasionally in collaboration with other local artisans. Ogruce’s ever-changing selection of recipes includes hay honey caramel, lemon ricotta-rosemary, olive oil and sea salt, Turkish delight, and cheese board — yes, cheese board, complete with brie, walnuts, and white wine.
The experience begins with an introduction to the history of Italian ice cream, includes a behind-the-scenes look at the lab, then culminates with a 16-course gelato tasting. Ogruce encourages revelers to guess a little: Are those notes of bourbon? Do I detect a caramel spine? Beets?! — before diving into the flavor profile and inspiration for each. The tour is unexpectedly technical, more like a wine tasting for sweet freaks than a voracious free-for-all. Guests can drink water between bites, and some recipes, such as a clear and tart passion fruit lemongrass, act as natural flavor enhancers. The icing on the cake: everyone goes home with a scoop of their favorite flavour.
Bilal Baig’s groundbreaking new series captures the true heart of Toronto