Handcrafted desserts at Eiswelt Gelato
Eiswelt Gelato brings a breath of fresh air to the frozen dessert scene with its innovative, animal-style treats. Found on the streets of Little Saigon, Eiswelt Gelato makes confections by combining pretzels, marshmallows, gelato and more. The careful process of crafting the captivating treats out of ice is something that customers get to experience in real-time and is distinct of the store.
Eiswelt Gelato is hidden in the inner corner of a plaza crowded with small businesses, but the interior is conspicuous, boasting a modern but simple design. Inside, the front part of the store is trimmed with a dark gray wood whereas the rest is cleanly white. The shop has a strongly contrasting color scheme that is interrupted by splashes of color. Though the shop’s aesthetic is not completely cohesive, it gives a humble and friendly impression. This is supported by the main demographic of children as well as the cheerful but calm atmosphere of customers’ conversations. On the wall leading up to the front of the line, a menu is helpfully etched on a blackboard, listing the available types of designs. The shop also sells hot and cold drinks, waffles and floats.
Most customers order the ‘teddy’ gelato ($3.50), which comes with a maximum of three flavors. Other choices available on the menu are the ‘piggy’ ($3.50), ‘doggy’ ($4.00) and ‘rose’ gelato ($5.00), which comes with either one, two or four flavors, respectively. Presented in tubs, the gelato come in a selection of fun, unconventional flavors to mature, classic flavors. Such flavors included Thai tea, coconut taro and red velvet. Fruit sorbets were also included. During the wait in line, I decided on the teddy gelato for its three flavor option to try new flavors.
I opted for yogurt for the head of the bear and then cookie and strawberry for the ears. Shortly after my order was taken, the staff took a scoop of gelato and began shaping it into a head. One worker attached the marshmallow snout while the other drew eyes with a toothpick, dipping occasionally into the Belgian chocolate tap. A smaller scoop of gelato for each ear was placed on the head to complete the appearance of the bear. For the effort put into making the product, paying $3.50 was quite reasonable, and the actual serving size was much greater than expected.
I started with the cookie flavor, which was disappointingly an ordinary vanilla with nothing distinguishable. It was still enjoyable, but I expected something more unique. The strawberry sorbet ear was bite-sized compared to the cookie flavor, and had a diluted, sweet tanginess. I was delighted by how natural it tasted. In relation to the cookie flavor, the yogurt was much thicker and had a somewhat chewy quality. The flavor was tart but refreshing, much like traditional frozen yogurt. However, the quality of the marshmallow muzzle was not on par with the quality of the gelato. It was considerably hardened from its original state and was stale. Taking in consideration the low price, the gelato was more than enough to compensate.
Eiswelt Gelato is a charming establishment that specializes in making treats in playful designs to indulge customers of all ages. The concept of the shapes of animals allows for a degree of personalization that appeals to many. Though inexpensive, Eiswelt Gelato’s presents their dedication to quality in the form of handmade desserts.
By Jamie Chen, Scene editor
Photo by Jamie Chen