Tucked in behind Toronto's flatiron building at Church & Wellington is one of the city's best kept gelato secrets -- Solferino Cafe.
While other gelato shops have started producing neon coloured mixes and overly sweet concoctions, the wizard behind Solferino's flavours keeps on doing things the old fashioned way.
That wizard (or more precisely, that microbiologist and master chef) is Ana Maria Ortiz, a native Columbian who took her master in Food Science and travelled the world in search of gelato-making knowledge.
After establishing 5 Solferino locations in Columbia she decided that she wanted to bring her trade to Canada and establish the best Gelato shop we'd ever laid our eyes on. She found a partner, opened shop, and here she is now, on Wellington East.
And there I am... face to face with a sea of flavours each more tempting than the next.
Now, this really is the part where I pour out lines after line of superlatives to describe ice cream flavours, but faced with the task, I don't even know where to start.
No one flavour stood out as I tried little spoonfuls of each. They were all so good. I was getting confused... then I came to a wonderous sight at the end of the display...
Mint Chocolate Chip. The kind that was not the usual leprechaun green, no, it was white like a natual mint ice cream ought to be... and I fell in love. A cupful of the mint, please .
And so, September has been filled with strategically placed gelato splurges, which at first were a way of prolonging summer, but now are just the perfect autumn treat. How so? Well, nothing keeps a gelato better, as you stroll the city, than a cool autumn breeze. Mmm.
When the snow hits, Ana Maria has already got a plan B set -- hot chocolate, made fresh on the premises, completely from scratch with chocolate from local artisans.
Hold me back.
(Solferino's flash freezer.
King Kong says, DO NOT OPEN! (But we did, just for a second!)
Solferino - 38 Wellington St East, 416-364-8478