Five years ago, when Carl Foderá and Marco Enea opened their first gelataria – Il Melograno in Westgarth – only a handful of good ones existed in Melbourne. Since then the city’s welcomed Pidapipo, Billy Van Creamy, Miinot and Piccolina, to name a few.
“The more of us that make this type of artisan gelato, the more the market will understand and demand it,” Foderá says. He heads the front end of the business while Enea guards his family recipes.
Enea’s family has owned and operated La Delizia, one of the most highly regarded gelatarias in Palermo, Sicily, for more than 25 years. Some of the family recipes (written in literal code) were entrusted to Enea, who’s adapted them for Compá’s menu.
“We’re often in Skype meetings with Marco’s grandfather who’s like gelato royalty over there,” Foderá says. “They guide us through the traditions, while we offer youthful flavour combinations for them to trial with their Sicilian market. So far, the chocolate and rosemary recipe we came up with has been really successful for them.”
Compá has 12 flavours, including chocolate and rosemary, coffee, vegan hazelnut, and orange-infused ricotta. Four specials rotate weekly. As well as cones and cups, three generous scoops of gelato can be smooshed into a brioche bun. Or you can try Compá’s own creation: two scoops in a cannoli shell dipped in pistachio crumbs at either end and dusted with icing sugar.
There are also four different granitas served with pure, non-thickened cream, four vegan sorbettos and five frappes. Wood-roasted coffee is available from Ricci – Foderá’s own roaster at the back of Il Melograno.
Traditional Sicilian gelato grew out of Arab cultures and the consistency is denser and chewier than northern-Italian gelato. Bits of nuts or tiny chunks of orange rind can often be found in Compá’s version.
“We’ve found the perception of flavour is more true to the ingredient when you’re able to see it and taste it in a more whole form than if it was all churned completely,” Enea says.
All the gelato is free of preservatives, artificial flavourings and, rather than using a generic white base, each flavour is made from scratch using Australian ingredients.
“Our product aims to leave the palate nice and clean. It’s representative of quality gelato if you’re not pining for water after,” Foderá says.
381 Brunswick Street, Fitzroy
(03) 8415 1684
Sun to Fri 12pm–10.30pm