When I found out that I would be returning to Vancouver, there was one place I had to stop at – Bella Gelateria. Some how I got to following Bella Gelateria on Twitter. His enthusiasm for creating gelato caught my attention. The flavor combinations that he’d tweet about would ignite my imagination, and I would begin to fantasize what it might taste like.
Bella Gelateria is located near Canada Place. It’s a perfect place to enjoy gelato. There’s plenty of places to sit and people watch with the Vancouver Harbour in the background.
After ordering my two scoops on a cone, I met James who came out to say hello after I tweeted that I had finally made it to Bella Gelateria.
— Somewhere is Jeannie (@whereisjeannie) August 26, 2012
James asked what flavors I had selected, and I told him Black Sesame and Lavender gelato. I admit it is an odd combination but those were the flavors that interested me but the combination worked. The black sesame gelato was rich while the lavender was floral; both full of aromatic flavor.
I explained enthusiastically to James that the black sesame was amazing and it reminded me of my mom’s homemade black sesame pudding. It was truly authentic and I’ve never had anything that was black sesame that came as close as to how my mom makes it. He explained that he made his own black sesame paste whereas others may use powders or less potent ingredients. He even gave me a taste of the black sesame paste and it was thick and potent! I certainly appreciate his enthusiasm to create authentic black sesame gelato. I’ve had black sesame ice cream and they were ok though nothing matched to what I grew up with until Bella Gelateria. I mean, look at the photo! The black sesame gelato is grey! Grey! Naturally grey from the black sesame being mixed in with the ingredients to make gelato. It’s incredible!
The lavender was fantastic. It tasted as its fragrance. It amazes me that the scent of lavender can be consumed. And what better way to embody that lovely floral scent of Provence than in gelato?
I returned the next day for one last treat before returning to NYC. I wanted to try the sorbetti especially after I noticed a tweet from @BellaGelateria that he was making a batch of sorbetto with Yuzu with some kind of Asian pepper and maple syrup. The combination of flavors piqued my interest.
Along with a scoop of Yuzu citrus with sansho pepper infused with maple syrup, I also got a scoop of Faloudeh; rose-water and noodles. The Faloudeh was a delightful surprise; bold rose flavor with a delicate body. It seemed to be melting sooner than the yuzu. The noodles added an interesting texture or perhaps activity in savoring the delicate Faloudeh sorbetto.
Yuzu is a citrus fruit; similar to a grapefruit though subtle in flavor in my opinion. I expected to get a bit of heat from the sansho peppers but didn’t. The infused maple syrup I think gave it a unique sweetness to the yuzu sorbetto. I enjoyed the Yuzu sorbetto but the Faloudeh really blew me away in the depth of perfumery flavor. The noodles gave the fragrant rose-water sorbetto an interesting texture that was playful and stirring.
Bella Gelateria can get busy but it’s well worth the wait in line. When I went both times, I didn’t wait too long and there was someone ahead if me however, there would be a line after I got my scoops.
You pay first and then decide which flavors you want. So you have to decide ahead of time (and before you taste) how many scoops you want and if you want your gelato or sorbetto in a cup or cone. Since I’ve never ordered gelato that way, I asked the guy at the register for advice. He recommended getting two, which seemed fair though I was a little worried that I might just like only one flavor though I suppose I could just get two scoops of the one flavor. In any case, it worked out in the end. You’re also allowed three tastings. I don’t know how strict they are with that policy but I suppose if you don’t want to hold up the line, you’ll be decisive with the flavors. Definitely make it a point to go! Bella Gelateria is very close to Canada Place so you can enjoy your scoops after your stroll or before.