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Review: Jack's Gelato in Cambridge

Friday, 14 April 2017

Last year I made a terrible mistake. Despite my colleague telling me how good they were, I never bought anything from “6” ice cream shop on Bene’t Street in Cambridge. Then they closed down, and winter was spent passing by an empty shop, wishing I’d got round to trying it.

Lovely simple design for the cups
So it was wonderful to walk past the same building at lunch time on Tuesday and find that a new ice cream business has taken over the space! Jack’s Gelato is well-known around Cambridge, he’s normally found serving ice cream through portable freezers around the streets of the city, as well as at festivals and fairs. Now he’s got a new shop, and it’s officially opened, complete with an actual ice cream machine at the counter so in the future you can watch it being made!

Since I was passing by I decided to have a look at the sign outside. Different flavours are on offer each day (you can see a list each day on his Twitter account), and I had to stop when my eyes caught sight of the words “Mint Choc Chip”, “Burnt Sugar and Salt”, and…”Chocolate Orange Sorbet”!

The problem I normally have with chocolate ice cream is that while it’s delicious, it generally makes me feel a bit sick about halfway through the first scoop. Great for making sure you don’t overindulge, but it generally means I have to steer clear of chocolate, otherwise I feel like I’m wasting my money. On last year’s trip to Rome I stuck firmly with hazelnut ice cream and lemon sorbet, rather than risk feeling ill while I was trying to stare at tourist attractions.

However the sound of chocolate orange sorbet was just far too tempting for me to give it a miss, so I got a small pot. The guy behind the counter (who wasn’t Jack) was very chatty and friendly, and happy to answer my questions about the new shop. I was warned that the sorbet was still very soft as it had only recently been made, but sorbet is a bit softer than ice cream anyway, and it wasn’t dreadfully hot so I knew it would last.
So delicious I could eat it all day!

Chocolate orange tends to be a bit of a marmite flavour, people either love it or hate. I’ll happily eat a Terry’s Chocolate Orange, but my other half wouldn’t (he’s the same with chocolate mint though). I think it’s because it’s very easy to get the orange side of it wrong, either it doesn’t taste of orange at all, or there’s too much and it overpowers the chocolate.

In this case though the balance was perfect. The chocolate looked dark and tasted very chocolatey, but had none of the bitterness of very dark chocolate. Likewise the orange was a lovely note within the chocolate, it was noticeable but not excessive, and because the orange was adding the extra sweetness to the sorbet it wasn’t overly sugary, so I didn’t feel sick after eating it! In fact I couldn’t eat it fast enough, I overloaded my tiny spoon a few times and felt highly disappointed when I reached the end of the pot. I'd give this six stars out of five, were I operating a star rating on this blog.

If you’ve never been to the kind of live event that Jack has been catering to before now, then you MUST get down to his new shop. Take a big spoon with you, you’re going to need it!

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