In an unfortunate turn of events for my waistline, Grom Gelati has made a grand entrance in Malibu. I first happened upon Grom while in Venice where, round the corner from my flat, in Campo San Barnaba, the lights of the gelateria beckoned late one night. I was drawn in by the lengthy explanations posted around the white and blue store on how their gelato was made the old-fashioned way, with high quality ingredients sourced all over Italy and the world, with no additives, emulsifiers or colorings. My cone of Bacio (chocolate and hazelnut) was spectacular, I had to go back the following night to try the Flavor of the Month.
After landing in New York to great accolades and wonderful reviews, we now have our own Grom, at Cross Creek in Malibu. The store looks exactly like all the others that now dot Italy (and a few in New York, Tokyo and Paris). On this particular Sunday, their grand opening, generous cups of free gelato were handed out to all and sundry, creating a respectable line outside, mainly formed by all those Italians who tend to pop out from all over town on such occasions.
But fanfare and expectations aside, Grom might be the best ice-cream in town. Well, actually it’s a gelato. American ice-cream is typically made with 60/40 cream and milk – it’s denser and heavier than Italian gelato that is made only from milk and allows for more air to be incorporated. Its fat content is distinctly lower but it’s oh so much easier to gobble it up in vast amounts.
The two partners who started Grom in 2003, Guido Martinetti and Federico Grom, abide to a philosophy centered on the best ingredients they can find: hazelnuts from Langhe, oranges and lemons from Sicily, chocolate from Venezuela and Colombia. They own a large farm in Piedmont where they grow their own fruit and, if the word artisanal can be applied to a chain that is expanding all over the world, these gelatos are the real thing.
In order to control the quality, the liquid base that is then spun is made in Turin, and sent to the stores every few days, thus ensuring that the Bacio consumed in Venice tastes exactly the same as the one in Rome. Their array of flavors range from Cioccolata Extra Noir sorbet (made with Colombian Teyuna chocolate) to Crema di Grom (a rich vanilla with corn cookie crumbs and chocolate), Pear, Italian Yogurt, Sabayon, Gianduja and on and on, plus a changing flavor of the month – January’s is “Torta Caprese”, Venezuelan Chocolate (made with Criollo beans), Sicilian Almonds and Cookies.
It’s ironic I don’t love ice-cream or gelato unless it’s exquisite and tastes home-made, like an eggy vanilla custard or a peach ripe from a tree. Hence, ice-cream is rarely a temptation for me and it rarely appears in my freezer but boy are things going to change. Extra gym sessions on the horizon….
Cross Creek Shopping Center