It is simple but profound, and leaves you with a delicate aftertaste, rather than overwhelming with a strong flavor or sweetness at the first spoonful. Among the keys to such refinement are the main sweeteners we use, honey and wasanbon, a traditional Japanese sugar. While the natural sweetness of honey enhances the original taste of other ingredients, wasanbon adds subtlety and warmth to the flavor. And both are healthier and more delicious than refined white sugar.
As fruit-growers use their hands to check the condition of their crops, and painters produce their artworks through the delicate touch of the brush, we undertake most of the processes involved in making gelato by hand. We check the quality of ingredients, peel fruits, extract juices, and weigh and mix ingredients with fine, manual care and attention. We spend as much time as possible on production, meticulously attending to details and making sure our gelato is always of the highest quality. We believe this approach is crucial to imparting the warmth and authenticity unique to handmade products.
This makes it all the more important to select ingredients with the utmost care. Quality is the most vital of the criteria we consider: the price, or whether something is organically grown, matters less. Timing is another important factor. When we choose fruits, we check the taste of the pulp around the seeds and skin, as well as how the taste changes as they ripen. Based on our experience and insight, we combine the most suitable ingredients at the best time to create gelato that approaches perfection.
It is science in that every quantity needs to be carefully calculated and every process carefully controlled. In a sense, gelato-making is a simple craft: you mix all the ingredients and freeze them. Yet every single process has a profound effect on the end product.For instance, the size of the ice crystals that form from water molecules as the gelato mix freezes determines whether the gelato is fine and smooth or coarse and grainy. It also determines the temperature you perceive as the gelato hits your tongue, and how fast the gelato melts in your mouth.So, to create the perfect texture and sensation, we make elaborate calculations and come up with specific formulas for each flavor, considering factors including the balance between milk fat and non-fat milk solids, the fluid and solid content, and the quality and quantity of sugar involved.This is science, but it is also art, since all these calculations are based on our intuition and sensuous impression of the taste and texture a particular gelato should have. Both objective scientific formulas and subjective sensations are crucial in creating high-quality gelato, and we find the best balance by using our accumulated knowledge and understanding.
As we always use the best fresh ingredients available, none of our fruit-flavored gelati are on offer all through the year. Strawberry gelato disappears in summer, as white peach does in winter. Some of the flavors reflect the tastes of seasonal festivities, too, like the chocolate and liqueur-based gelati of winter. Like a florist or grocer, we would like customers to feel the change of the seasons when they visit us.
We try to visit these producers and learn their approaches and stories as much as possible, because we believe it is essential to understand how they work and to check the quality of their produce with our own sight, touch and taste, making sure they have the best ingredients for our gelato.By communicating with these producers directly, we can also get a fundamental understanding of the land, climate and culture that contribute to the qualities of their harvest. We also share our gelato with them so that they can see how their produce is used and what it tastes like, which helps to deepen our mutual understanding and trust.
We consider interactions with customers an important part of our service, making the experience far more meaningful than a mere exchange of goods and money. Like an Italian gelateria, our shop is a place to unwind and enjoy a conversation over scoops of gelato.
Our ultimate mission is to establish gelato as a part of everyday life in Japan. For that to happen, we need to spread gelato culture further and inspire people of future generations to become gelato artisans. We believe that the best starting point is to serve the finest gelato to as many customers as possible.