Fiasco Gelato threw a big house-warming party at their new cucina in SE Calgary a few days ago to celebrate being named the Best Ice Cream/Gelato in Calgary recently in FFWD’s Best of Calgary 2012 survey results. This public event was for the Fiasco’s followers on Twitter and Facebook as an appreciation for their support. This drop-in/open house event included tours of the facility as well as complimentary food, drinks, and of course, all the gelato you could eat.
I decided to drop by the event to see what it was all about. I’ve been a huge fan of Fiasco since the brand launched back in 2004. After a hiatus of a few years, I was really happy to see Fiasco Gelato resurface again last summer in the form of a food truck.
We met James Boettcher, the current owner of the Fiasco Gelato. He had taken over the Fiasco brand from the original founder Matt Wilson a couple of years ago and has visions to take the brand to a new level. He gave us a tour of the new facility. First he showed us the room they call “The Think Tank”, which is where they hang out to collaborate and dream up new ideas for the company.
We then went back to the cucina to see where all the magic happens. I was actually surprised how small the kitchen was considering how much gelato they actually crank out. The gelato/sorbetto is actually hand-crafted in small batches daily using the freshest ingredients that are available.
As part of the behind-the-scenes tour, we even got to sample sorbetto that was fresh out of the maker. This batch happened to be Mango Sorbetto, made with Alphonso mangoes. It was delicious! I’d never tasted gelato/sorbetto that was this fresh before. The texture was actually much softer than usual as it had not been in the freezer yet. The mango flavour in the sorbetto was really intense and bright. I’d definitely say this was some of the best mango sorbetto that I’ve ever tasted.
Since we could sample as much gelato as we wanted, I started off trying a few of Fiasco’s latest flavours, the S’mores (chocolate, graham crackers, and marshmallow) and the Blueberry Basil. My friend M tried the Blackberry Iced Tea and the Mumbai Mango. The S’mores, similar to the PB&J that I had from Fiasco previously, is a really neat experience. If you close your eyes and taste the flavours, it actually tastes like the real thing except texturally it’s in the form of creamy gelato. The Blueberry Basil actually might be my new favourite. I’ve always loved Fiasco’s Wild BC Blueberry ever since I tried it for the first time last summer. The Blueberry Basil is actually quite similar to the Wild BC Blueberry except with a sophisticated twist. The basil actually adds more complexity. I was actually how well the two flavours work together. I had a taste of my friend’s Blackberry Iced Tea. It was really tasty. I could taste the blackberries as well as the subtle flavour of the infused tea. The Mumbai Mango was by far the favourite flavour between the two sorbetti.
I also tried Black Forest Cake and the Chocolate Pretzel. And my friend M tried the Zesty Lemon sorbetto. Between the Black Forest Cake and the Chocolate Pretzel, I personally thought the Black Forest Cake was the winner. The Black Forest Cake was intensely chocolate-y with some cherry chunks and reminded me of my all-time favourite gelato from Bella Gelateria in Vancouver, the Chocolate Extra Noir 85%. The Chocolate Pretzel was tasty but the chunks of pretzel weren’t as crunchy as I would have liked due to the moisture from the gelato. The Zesty Lemon sorbetto was REALLY tart, especially since I had tasted it right after the two chocolate gelati. I could see myself enjoying the Zesty Lemon but in very small doses. It would be the perfect palate cleanser in between courses of a multi-course dinner. But I don’t think it’s something I could eat a giant bowl of in one sitting.
Lastly, I tried a Gelato Sandwich. This one was filled with vanilla bean gelato. Fiasco has teamed up with Kruse’s Bakery to make these gelato sandwiches. The chocolate cookies from Kruse’s Bakery are soft and chewy with intense cocoa flavour. I liked that the cookies were not too sweet to help offset the sweetness from the gelato. These gelato sandwiches are definitely the perfect cool treat for a hot summer’s day.
Thanks to the Fiasco Gelato team for such a great party! This was definitely the most gelato I’ve ever eaten in one sitting. I’m really glad I got to taste some of their new flavours for the summer.