If you're interested in the sort of dessert that leaves the sweet taste of saving the planet in your mouth, you may want to try the latest from Island Gelato Co.
They've crafted the world's first gelato made from upcycled toka toka (golden) kūmara, and it's said to be a game-changer in the fight against food waste.
Let's dive into the delicious details. Hannah Clarke, the patisserie engineer behind the new flave, decided to tackle the problem of food waste head-on.
Did you know that a whopping 122,000 tonnes of perfectly edible produce go to waste?
“Thousands of tonnes of fruit and vegetables are dumped with minor imperfections which range from having an unusual shape to being too large, too small, the wrong colour or too ripe for the mainstream market,” Hannah explained.
But here's where it gets exciting. Island Gelato Co is rescuing these misfit fruits and veggies and turning them into - yep, you guessed it - gelato that goes into our bellies!
Okay, so you might be a little concerned about a vegetable being at the root of your sweet treat, but it actually seems to make a lot of sense.
Hannah adds: “As a food producer the use of imperfect ingredients can reduce the cost by up to 70%, which also helps stabilise the pricing for the end consumer.”
And the kūmara actually adds a caramelised flavour and a creamy, custard-like texture - Now, I’m convinced.
“We are definitely on a journey with vegetables, up until now it hasn’t been something we’ve delved into much because we weren’t sure customers would go for it, but I’m hoping to bridge that gap,” Hannah said.
Island Gelato Co isn't stopping at kūmara – they're on a mission to transform other "ugly" produce into frozen delights. Think avocados, bananas, grapefruit, rhubarb, blueberries, strawberries, and more.
They’re even taking the foodie gelato flavours to an even stranger level. Brace yourselves for tomato gelato, corn chip and chilli gelato, guacamole gelato, and even Italian pizza-inspired gelato! Yes, you read that right – pizza-flavored gelato!
So, next time you find yourself in Auckland or Waiheke, maybe pop in and give it a lick, you might find it’s your new favourite way to eat your veggies.