A gelato afternoon with Nonna

Everybody knows I adore ice cream. It’s no secret that where ever in the world I go, taking a break, means a visit to the “gelateria”.  There is something so emotionally satisfying with every scoop, it always connects me with my childhood. My friend Monica, made my dream come true when she invited me to make “gelato” with her family, and it was there that I discovered a real gem.

I had the greatest pleasure of meeting my first centenarian, “Nonna” Maria Adelaide, Monica’s grandmother. Although at first sight she may seem fragile, this beautiful young lady has a stronger endurance, mobility, and strength than most people 30 years younger than her.

Turning 100 this year, Nonna has seen the world through a special lens which only a few share with her today. She has witnessed history transform our lives today, having lived through two world wars, the discovery of penicillin, DNA, AIDS, not to mention remained a beacon of strength for her family during their toughest times. This incredible Nonna has recently added another colourful chapter to her life when she, very bravely, moved to Abu Dhabi with her family.

In an effort to keep Nonna busy and pass on her legacy, “Gelatissimo”, a family run gelato business was created, where Monica, her mother and grandmother, take care of everything from production to sale. While Monica and her mother assemble the ingredients together for production, Nonna supervises to ensure that her secret recipe is followed and final product is “perfetto”. The ladies produce eighteen different types of flavours on a weekly basis, with best sellers such as After Eight, Ferrero Rocher, banana Nutella and pistachio. The flavours create an explosion of taste and texture for the taste buds, simply melting all troubles away.UntitledWith Haagen Dazs and Baskin Robbins dominating the market for ice cream, Gelatissimo exceeds by far when it comes to authentic flavour and top quality, as the ladies only use carefully selected, natural ingredients. Why would you consume a manufactured product sitting in a freezer for months, transported across the globe, when you can indulge in homemade gelato which is freshly produced every week and adheres to true Italian tradition.

With a choice of cups, cones, waffle baskets, milkshakes, sundaes, sorbets and gelato packs to take a little piece of Italy back home, it is no wonder that this hidden gem is gaining popularity every day. You can currently indulge in this taste of heaven in Boutik Mall on Reem Island and in Yas Mall, opposite to Ferrari World.

I would truly like to thank my dear friend Monica for allowing me to become a small part of her family tradition, to go behind the scenes of gelato making, and to meet the incredible Nonna – who inspired me to keep going, no matter the difficulty. While she posed for a photograph with me, I could sense her emotions as she smiled, with tears in her eyes … and mine.



Disclaimer: All views are my own and all photographs are © My Pink Diary, unless otherwise stated.

UPDATE 2019: Gelatissimo is no longer open for business, however Nonna and Mamma continue their work by selling fresh homemade ravioli. That’s right, Nonna is turning 103 this year. 

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