It was almost exactly a year ago that Lisa Valmorbida opened her pop-up gelataria, Pidapipo, on Faraday Street in Carlton – she named it after an Italian version of Simon Says she used to play with her nonno. All of last summer she had Melbourne flocking for flavours such as fior di latte, ricotta and fig and a crema, rhubarb and vincotta swirl, before the lease ran out and she closed her store in June, with a plan to reopen in a permanent space as soon as possible.
So, just in time for summer – and after a trip to Italy for more research and to develop new recipes – Valmorbida is about to open her permanent store next door to Tiamo on Lygon Street.
“Since it’s Christmas, we’re opening with some Christmasy flavours like eggnog and Christmas pudding,” says Valmorbida as she makes gelati out the back of the new store. She also promises favourites such as pistachio, rose, coconut and Nutella swirl. “Nutella swirl was the most popular at the pop-up, which is similar to a stracciatella, but instead of chocolate chip it’s got Nutella and then it’s got Nutella sauce on the top.”
At the new Pidapipo there will also be a Sicilian brioche roll with gelato inside and toppings; a chocolate tap that fills up the inside of your cone with dark, milk or white chocolate; and affogato like the Italians do it. “In Italy, an affogato has all sorts of different toppings,” says Valmorbida, “not just coffee. So we’re implementing that concept and will have chocolate sauce, zabaglione, amarena (Italian sour cherry) and espresso toppings.”
The new Pipdapipo has been designed by Melbourne interior architect Rabindra Naidoo, and is inspired by Italian design of the ’50s and ’60s, rich with steel, brass, marble, stone, terrazzo, tiles and leather.
Features include the continuation of the pozzeti display, which keeps gelato in tins with lids to maintain freshness. Made from scratch daily in view of customers, Pidapipo uses quality ingredients from Italian and local producers such as pistachios from Sicily, hazelnuts from Piedmont, milk from Warnambool, cheese from St Kilda cheesemongers La Formaggeria and honey from bees kept on the roof, set up by Honey Fingers.