Add the ‘wow’ factor to your entertaining by serving local, handmade treats
One man; 100 all-natural, all-awesome flavours (depending on how you feel about liquorice). Andrea Fritz, an expat from Switzerland, founded the fi rst Fritz gelato stall in South Melbourne markets in the neat-o year of 1952, and guys and dolls have been mainlining his frozen desserts ever since. The gelato is made with milk rather than cream, and organic fresh fruits, nuts and chocolates. The debate over caramelised fig and roasted almond versus cinnamon donut flavour rages. St Kilda, Prahran, Richmond, South Melbourne.
This boutique Chapel Street store is floor-to-ceiling with jars of sugar and spices, and wall-to-wall with multi-coloured flavoured meringues, garden beds of chocolate flowers, and rows of cakes, decorated with gravity defying sculptures. Darren Purchese is a mad scientists with phenomenal culinary skills, and his store is a science-lab as much as a sugar emporium. South Yarra.
Chef Jock Main’s store in Albert Park has won gongs for everything from a novelty peanut butter and jelly homage to the US president (Obamarama ice cream) to sharp, clean sorbets that impeccably capture the essence of their flavour base. Try the apple, or make off with a tub of ‘summer pudding’ – creamy ice cream with rich veins of tart berry sorbet. Hell, even the vanilla’s worth a look. It can get kooky (chocolate and beetroot, anyone?), but vanillahoneycomb hokey-pokey will always rein supreme. Albert Park.
Melbourne’s answer to Adriano Zumbo, this macaron specialist looks like a gigantic box of sweet, edible crayons. The sugary meringue-and-ganache puffs come in every flavour you could fantasise about and at least a few that we thought no sane person would attempt, from watermelon and yoghurt to kaya toast. South Yarra.
Thibault Fregoni, owner of Brunswick’s chocolate factory-cum-café, is the only chocolatier in Melbourne who is roasting, shucking grinding and refining his very own chocolate from raw cacao beans. It’s a lot of work by the looks of the monstrous equipment half filling the warehouse, but Fregoni doesn’t care. He’s a man obsessed with creating perfect chocolate from ethically sourced beans, and educating the public about origins and the production process through chocolate appreciation classes. Buy blocks of the finished product, distinguished by country of origin, or hit ’em up for a hot chocolate you could stand a spoon in. Brunswick East.