Panna cotta gelato

Creamy Italian gelato enriched with molasses and a lick of caramel

It’s April. April. The cruellest month, according to TS Eliot, and yet here we are basking in blazing sunshine and heat which borders on tropical. Naturally the queue for Gelateria 3Bis is out the door, along the street and around the corner. Still, people keep coming: their faces red, their newly exposed limbs ghostly after The Longest Winter Ever, their minds hellbent on one thing and one thing only: the cool, creamy caress of 3Bis’ authentic Italian gelato.

Naturally what conversation there is (speech tends to falter much above 20C in the UK) centres entirely on flavours and combinations thereof. Full fruit? Fruit and nut? Nut on nut? Or do you go for one of the more intriguing flavours? No matter how much time you spend in the queue, it’s never quite time enough to decide. Thank goodness Friday feeling are here to shoulder this burden.

We’ve done the hard work for you, and concluded that panna cotta—soft, warmly aromatic vanilla, swirled with sharp, dark caramel—is the way to go. “It’s very popular,” says store manager Eleonora, piling scoop upon scoop upon cone, “especially on a day like this.” The vanilla cream is gentle and marries well with nut and chocolate flavours; the tang of the burnt sugar counterbalances it.

This is proper caramel, with a rich kick of molasses, and proper cream, from quality, ethically-sourced milk with full flavour. This is proper gelato. To miss out on this would, indeed, be cruel.