Some of you sampled our champagne sorbet over New Year’s Eve, and others of may have come undone eating our chocolate fondant paired with pistachio gelato. The smooth, seamless texture of these frozen desserts have left us daydreaming for days! Intrigued by the perfection of our indulgence and (literally) wanting to discover the inside scoop, we visited Plett’s premier gelato maker, Marco, to hear his story and watch him make a morning batch of strawberry gelato.
Having spent this youth designing ties for the likes of Versace, at the age of 40, Marco and his wife left Italy and headed to the Garden Route in pursuit of slow living. They had spent many years holidaying in Plett, so its farmlands seemed like a natural choice to retire.
“But, after a year or two I got bored of walking my dogs on the beach, and foregoing for mushrooms in the forest and looked to gelato!” laughs Marco.
His hobby soon became a bustling business and Ice Dream Land, an Italian Gelateria-Latteria Italiana, coffee shop and Italian Sunday Restaurant was born.
Marco has been producing Plett’s gelato for over 14 years now, and has successfully made orders like anchovy sorbet and bacon and egg ice cream for neighbouring restaurants. But, he is still traditionalist at heart, preferring established gelato flavours to culinary experiments.
“My favourite flavor is Marrons Glaces, candied chestnuts in a syrup solution, and second… everything else!”
Marco’s farm is not only home to his shop, gelato and cheese factory, but also to orchards, whose fruit is hand plucked and used to flavour his ice-cream.
“The fruit I can’t grown, I source from local farmers, along with my milk.”
True to its slogan, Ice Dream Land embodies the essence of Italian tradition and hospitality, where handmade delicacies are “designed and approved by the heart.”