WHAT'S THE SCOOP?
SNOWFLAKE LUXURY GELATO IS COMING TO IONA. FOUNDER ASAD KHAN REVEALS WHY IT’S THE CREAM OF THE CROP
Snowflake Luxury Gelato is our new gelato partner and creator of the exciting treats on board Iona. We find out more from Snowflake CEO and Founder Asad Khan.
What inspired you to create Snowflake Luxury Gelato?
I love food. I also love travelling and I spend a lot of time in Italy, enjoying the great delights of its cuisine. Italian gelato is the best in the world, and after a trip there with my family, I was inspired to bring that quality back to the UK. I’ve always wanted to run my own business, and the idea to create a best-in-class product was swirling around in my head. I talked to my brother about it and he suggested the name Snowflake. It was a perfect fit as it reflects what we’re about: pure, natural, unique, lovely and soft.
What makes Snowflake different from other gelato?
Every single gelato is handmade by our chefs and we know exactly what’s going into it. For me, it’s about getting the best ingredients, the best chefs and the best machinery. For example, we have a specialist in Piedmont, Italy, who roasts our hazelnuts as there’s a lot to consider: if they’re over-roasted, it creates a burnt, bitter taste. Under-roasted, they’ll taste underwhelming. Our producers use their expertise – they can do it better than we ever could.
Why is provenance so important to you?
We know gelato is a treat, but a treat should still be filled with good, natural ingredients, and taste amazing. It all starts with really good-quality milk. We use organic Jersey milk and cream that comes from a single farm in Somerset, and that makes up 70 per cent of the product. When sourcing our raspberries for our raspberry sorbet [which won the Great Taste Supreme Champion award in 2014], we use ripe berries from Kent and that ripeness gives them more of an intense flavour and vibrant colour. We also work with the classics, like vanilla from Madagascar and pistachios from Sicily.
How do you come up with new flavours?
We’ve made over 100 flavours since we started. There’s a core of 25-30 traditional Italian gelato classics such as nocciola (hazelnut), pistachio, amarena (cherry), vanilla and chocolate. For flavour innovation, we get inspiration from other regions or new food trends. Veganism inspired our banoffee flavour – it’s banana-based. And there’s the Avolato, which is made from avocado and peanut butter and inspired by the popularity of avocados. We also think of what ingredients work well together. For example, our cremino flavour has a classic fior di latte base and a layer of gianduja chocolate: together they create a lovely natural flavour with the chocolate and hazelnut coming through.
What do you hope guests will enjoy most about Snowflake?
When I go on holiday, it’s the small things I remember. It’s all about sharing special moments. There’s a delight that comes with tasting something great, and having that experience is part of the treat. It’s not just about the gelato – it’s about the whole ambience and atmosphere. We want to make guests’ cruise experiences more memorable thanks to that lovely gelato they tried, without having to go to Italy to get it.