802 Glenferrie Rd, Hawthorn VIC
03 9815 2815
At Piccolina, you won’t find mountains of gelato on display in big glass cabinets. In fact, you won’t find any gelato on display, unless it is running down the hands of the satisfied customers.
Piccolina was started by former designer Sandra Foti, who began making gelato from home about 15 years ago. A recent trip to Italy saw Sandra meet a pastry chef whose family has three generations of experience in gelato making. As she learnt more about the traditional method of making gelato in Italy, Sandra realised there was a market for this type of gelato back home. Enter: Piccolina.
Piccolina does things differently. All of the gelato is made in small batches using only fresh, natural ingredients. For example the bread butter and chocolate gelato, a popular flavour among many, utilises breadcrumbs and chocolate, both of which are made from scratch in-house.
This means the flavours are mostly seasonal and change depending on what quality ingredients are prolific at that time of year. For example, winter fosters the making of pear sorbet – which tastes like biting into an ice-cold pear – and mandarin gelato – a refreshing taste that has a zing of citrus.
Other flavours, including pistachio, chocolate, better than Nut-lla, salted caramel, and peanut butter and chocolate are available throughout the year.
The delicate nature of Piccolina’s gelato stems from the fact it is made from all natural ingredients, without gelatines, thickeners or preservatives. To ensure it stays fresh and to maintain quality, the gelato is stored under the counter in silver ‘pozetti.’
While this might seem strange, especially because you can’t seen any gelato when you walk into the store, the pozetti system is the best way of storing gelato that is made in this traditional way. Each flavour is stored in its own temperature-controlled container that protects the gelato from light and air, keeping it at optimal quality.
You can taste this quality in any and all of the flavours at Piccolina, something Sandra encourages all customers to do. “We encourage people to try the flavours, especially as they can’t see the gelato, because the flavours are like nothing else,” said Sandra.
Piccolina also offers refreshing granitas in summer. These ice blends of water, sugar and fruit are extremely popular and can be a mixture of anything from watermelon, lime and mint; to cantaloupe and basil or white peach and rose water.
When you’re in need of a celebration cake, look no further than Piccolina. With the help of Bernard Chu and Yen Yee Pek from LuxBite, Sandra has created a range of gelato cakes, including the Ferrerolina Rocher, a Ferrero Rocher inspired gelato cake that is 198 times the size of the originial.
The smooth and creamy gelato and refreshing granitas can be enjoyed at the beautiful Glenferrie Road shop. The design is inspired by Italy in the 1960s – the walls are painted in different shades of blue and the black and white posters are based on those from Italy at the time (Sandra even helped design them).
Everything from the marble front counter, to the yellow accents and the beautiful wooden stools are there for a reason. The chairs are from Italy and even the font on the Piccolina sign is an Italian font from the 1960s.
Piccolina is truly unique; the gelato is made from scratch using authentic Italian recipes, the flavours pack a punch and the lady behind the brand is as lovely as she is passionate. Whether you visit in summer or winter, there is something for you at Piccolina any time of year.
To find out more about Piccolina and the traditional gelato making process, read our Meet the Maker piece about Sandra Foti.
Words by Ashleigh Whitehill | Cat lover. Tea enthusiast. Twitter