The best gelato in Sri Lanka has a surprising Australian connection
A visit to this artisanal ice creamery is a tropical tour for the tastebuds
Words by Ute Junker
Photos Credit:Isle of Gelato
Originally published in Traveller
Not all coconut ice-cream is created equal. The coconut gelato that I have just spooned into my mouth, for instance, is a complex creation, its a pure hit of coconut modulated with a smoky sub-note and an unexpected crunch.
“We caramelise the coconut kernel with kithul honey, then add it to the gelato to enhance the texture and flavour,” explains Shalini Fernando, Sri Lanka’s only artisanal gelato maker.
Kithul honey – made with the sap of the fishtail palm tree – is just one of the indigenous ingredients that Fernando and her husband, Suranjan Perera, showcase in their Isle of Gelato range. Others include jackfruit, wood apple and cardamom.
“The range changes according to what is in season,” Fernando says, scooping some rich avocado gelato out of the display cabinet and offering it to me. I would never have thought to use avocado as a sweet flavour, but Fernando tells me that it is a local tradition. “In Sri Lanka, we eat avocado with sugar,” she says.