October 16, By Tara Law
An authentic gelato shop with deep ties to Italy has opened in Astoria.
Gelato & Co., which opened last month at 29-02 23rd Avenue, is owned by Francesco D’Ambrosio and his wife, Liliana Buscemi, who moved to New York from Italy four years ago, along with three partners who still live in Milan.
D’Ambrosio laughs when asked why he wanted to open up the shop.
“I love gelato, that is the reason!” he explained. He admits that he also likes “ice cream, but it’s different.”
For D’Ambrosio, the decision to open a gelato shop in Astoria seemed natural. His family has been making gelato for generations, and he said he wanted to bring his family’s recipes to Astoria.
According to D’Ambrosio, the shop’s gelato tastes like the style served in Sicily. Although there are different styles of gelato made across Italy, D’Ambrosio claims that the Sicilian style is the best since it is made with corn starch and milk instead of cream and eggs.
The gelato is made in shop, and all the ingredients–except the milk–are imported from Italy. Several of his partners have visited from Italy to teach the ice cream makers how to make authentic gelato.
The machine used to make the gelato has been imported from Italy. D’Ambrosio describes it as the “Ferrari of gelato machines.” The machine rapidly heats the ingredients and then efficiently freezes them.
So far, says D’Ambrosio, the gelato shop’s dedication to authenticity has paid off. Even though the shop did not open until the end of the summer, the community has lined up for the icy dessert despite the cooler weather, he said
“We are so excited,” said D’Ambrosio. “The neighborhood has been very warm with us until now. Everyone loves our gelato.”