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and organic fruit sorbets quickly garnered an eager following among locals.

Who can blame them? “The idea

for the ice cream we serve is very simple: we use only pure ingredients,” Johnson says, noting that Isabella’s treats are made from fresh milk and cream (soon to be organic), pure sugar and raw honey, Arizona eggs, natural herbs, organic fruits, pure vanilla beans and cocoa powder and plant-based food colorings and natural extracts. “I choose ingredients that have not been processed and have no additives. The result is dense, yummy ice cream for Tucson.” Tucsonan’s top Isabella’s flavors

to date—Brazilian coffee and minty chocolate chip—are just two of the truck’s many scrumptious offerings, which include Caribbean coconut, peanut butter chocolate peanut, cinnamon stick, and vegan sorbets such as mango and lemon-basil. Custom flavors such as honey lavender, Kristel’s latest creation for Maynard’s Market, are developed especially for local restaurants. Ready to get your hands

(and mouths) on a cold bite of heaven? Check the events page on to find Minty or follow Isabella’s on Facebook or Twitter. For those in need of an instant frozen fix, Isabella’s Ice Cream is now available in scoops and pints at Maynard’s Market and Rincon Market, and on the menu at Renee’s Organic Oven and Maynard’s Kitchen. If the desert heat’s got you

moving slower than molasses—or maybe salted caramel—revive your

Allegro II Gelato Naturale, features all-natural, made-from-scratch Italian gelato.

senses with a trip to Allegro – il gelato naturale, an Italian innovation among Tucson’s arctic retreats. First off, in case you’re not exactly sure how to pronounce the name of the dreamy cream in Allegro’s sparkling display cases, it’s, “je-lah-toe.” Secondly, in case you’re

wondering what the difference is between Italian gelato and American ice cream, there are a few important distinctions, according to Ivan Lucchina, general manager of Allegro and master gelatiere. “Our gelato has less fat than ice

cream because it’s made with a higher percentage of organic whole milk and less cream,” Lucchina explains. Visit Allegro’s website,, for a handy nutritional comparison of sorbet, gelato and ice cream. Gelato also differs from its ice

cream cousin in density. Because it’s churned at a slower speed, less air is whipped into the Italian dessert, making it more dense than ice cream. Gelato usually contains only 25 percent air, while ice cream can contain up to 50 percent air. However, even among gelatos, a true connoisseur will detect vast

differences in quality and flavor. “In Italy, the difference is between artisanal gelato and industrial gelato,” says Lucchina, a native of Lake Como, Italy, who moved to Tucson to help launch Allegro last year. By industrial gelato, Lucchina refers to large-scale suppliers that use artificial flavors, colors and stabilizers, none of which enter Allegro’s kitchen. Instead, Lucchina is dedicated to using only real ingredients in Allegro’s gelato and sorbets such as organic milk and cream, spring water, fresh pasteurized egg yolks, pure fruits and natural flavors. “It is too common now to find

green mint gelato, bubble gum gelato, pink gelato, blue gelato—this is a sign that the industry is now industrializing our wonderful product,” laments Lucchina. “All of our gelatos and sorbets are made from scratch. For example, when we make a tiramisu gelato, we don’t use flavor from a can. We use mascarpone cheese and coffee—the actual ingredients you would use to make tiramisu.” Is your mouth starting to water

yet? Allegro adds one to two new frozen flavors per week. Salted caramel is the current top seller (and no wonder: it features handmade caramel, blended with Himalayan pink salt, which yields a slightly sweeter salty taste). Other beloved gelato scoops include saffron, beckoning spoons with a tempting golden hue; coffee, featuring espresso from 100 percent Arabica Brazilian coffee beans; cinnamon, flavored with organic ground cinnamon; and chocolate, starring premier French Valhrona cocoa powder. For a lighter, dairy-free freeze,

luxuriate in Allegro’s all-natural fruit sorbets, made from only fresh fruit, spring water and white cane sugar. Summer flavors include zesty pineapple-basil, rich apricot, sweet strawberry, and more. “The secret for me of Italian

gelato is not using Italian ingredients, but using local and fresh ingredients,” Lucchina says. “That’s how true gelato is made in Italy.”

Allegro – il gelato naturale is located at 446 N Campbell Ave., Ste. 201, at Sixth St.

24 Tucson

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