Billy van Creamy, Melbourne’s first organic gelato truck, has just been taken for its first spin this summer, and you’ll want to keep an eye out. You can find the mobile, picket-fenced gelateria parked on Ruckers Hill in Northcote, and soon, at the Edinburgh Gardens, or cruising around Port Phillip.
Brothers Alex and Mitch Wells came up with the concept 18 months ago, bought an ice-cream maker, took a course with Gelato Messina and set practising. They soon decided to take a different tack – they didn't want to follow accepted practice if it meant using the synthetic stabilisers and emulsifiers that they believe many gelato makers include to make their product look its best.
“Initially we hoped to find a supplier to make the gelato for us,” Mitch says. “But we’re pretty firm on how to make it and which ingredients to use.” Alex jumps in to add: “No one was willing to change the way they do things.”
So the boys make their own at the Thornbury Bowls Club – one of several commercial kitchens suggested by the council. Their recipes use just five ingredients: the base flavour (e.g. fresh mint or roasted hazelnuts), Demeter milk, cane sugar, cream and an egg-yolk stabiliser. The cream is the only non-organic element, simply because the duo can't find anyone to supply them with an organic version.
As at Pidapipo, the resulting flavours are stored in a pozzetti system – a large freezer with removable insulated pots, which maintains the gelato at minus 12 degrees. “The only drawback is that you can’t see the product,” Alex says.
But here’s the kicker: if you can see the product, that’s a problem. For the Wells brothers, anyway. Flavours that sit in a neat, well-formed lump inside a glass display case have almost certainly had the gelato equivalent of a boob job, using synthetic stabilisers to keep it unnaturally perky.
Despite not being able to gawk at the ice cream, Billy van Creamy has the flavours nailed. Currently, the whitewashed truck is offering 12 flavours, including pistachio, hazelnut, macadamia and honey, salted caramel, espresso, coconut and peach. All you have to do is scout its location on Twitter and go taste some for yourself.
Billy van Creamy
Location regularly updated via the Billy van Creamy Twitter feed.