Manu Gelato

For so long I thought ‘shiny’ was merely a word to describe the glossy appearance of gelato. Having now had Manu Gelato, I realise that ‘shiny’ is really a texture. As with any ice cream or gelato, after a few licks, the misshapen hunk becomes a smooth sphere sitting on top of your cone. This happens quickly with Manu Gelato because it is so soft, and it is at this point that you can admire how polished the gelato looks, and I can swear you can taste it glinting in your mouth.

Because gelato is soft and creamy, rather than frozen and compact like most sub-par ice creams, the staff are generous with their scooping. They don’t have to forcibly hack and scrape at it like most ice cream servers have to. When you ask to sample one of the flavours, they will hand you a plump, luxurious heap of gelato at the end of a tiny plastic spoon. I usually get a sticky-sweet sore throat when I eat ice cream. This does not happen with Manu Gelato.

One of the inherent risks with frozen desserts is dilution of flavour. Every flavour at Manu Gelato comes through. Even the innocuous fiordilatte, made with just fresh milk and sugar, is what I imagine, um, breastmilk would taste like, Fiordilatte has an angelic, milky, unadulterated, tender, nectar sort of flavour. Also get the oreo flavoured gelato, please. I know you think I mean cookies and cream. I don’t. This is not broken bits of oreo in plain white ice cream. This is the black biscuit of the oreo cookie ground up into fine dust and made into gelato. The gelato is black.

You will not get to luxuriate in tasting each flavour before you make your decision. The crowds do not let up on Manu Gelato. Don’t be afraid to take a shot in the dark even if you don’t understand the Italian-sounding flavours. (You cannot go wrong with Nutella, Oreo or Fiordilatte.) If you’re visiting the Manu Gelato on Rue du Paquis, may I suggest that you get two scoops in a cone and then lick it on the way to Lake Geneva. Two scoops. One scoop only gets you halfway there.

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