It's hard enough to find vegan ice cream (outside of your grocer's freezer, that is). But vegan gelato? Forget it. Those who opt out of dairy don't have a lot of options when it comes to this creamy Italian treat.
But Coconut Grove's newest sweet spot, Bianco Gelato, is serving up handmade flavors made with almond milk and other all-natural ingredients. So vegans can go nuts with pistachio, pineapple and peppermint, strawberry, raspberry and pomegranate, and more.
Co-owner Federico DiFranco wants customers to know Bianco is all about natural, organic ingredients. No gluten, casein, lactose, or trans fats in their treats.
He cites corn syrup as a huge problem in other ice cream or gelato brands. "Corn syrup is very easy because dextrose goes to your brain very fast. Your perception is wrong -- you think you're having something very good," he says.
They always have vegan choices on-hand, and if you call in a special order two days in advance DiFranco says they can make a vegan version of any of their standard flavors. The store is a family-run business, helmed by DiFranco and his wife Carla, and they eventually plan to expand operations to sell vegan popsicles.
"We believe in it, so we do it," DiFranco adds about their efforts.
I tasted several of the vegan options settled on a small serving of pistachio ($4.50). Creamy, rich and not-too-sweet, it was a satisfying treat for a steamy summer day.
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Vegan options regularly available include pistachio; pineapple and peppermint; strawberry, raspberry and pomegranate; and sugar-free strawberry and chocolate.
Prices run $4.50 for piccolo (small), $6.50 for medio (medium) and $8 for grande (large). They're open Monday and Tuesday from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m.; Wednesday - Sunday from 9 a.m. to midnight.
Follow Hannah on Twitter @hannahgetshappy.