Serving up scoops of delectable premium quality, traditional Italian gelato and vegan sorbetto, Momenti takes pride in creating small batches of handcrafted gelato using only fresh, natural ingredients of high quality.
Founder and gelatiere, Edward Papaphotis, said: “No flavourings, colourants, preservatives, gelatin or alcohol are used. We only use fresh organic fruits sourced locally from our national produce market.
“We believe in supporting our local farmers and strive to create a completely natural product. This is why our flavours are intense, refreshing and healthy.”
Born in Johannesburg, Papaphotis grew up in Durban.
“Making gelato wasn’t something I had ever thought of before. I embraced the idea when I lived in Brazil for two years teaching English.
Down the road from where I lived there was a great gelateria, I would eat there almost every day. I thought why on Earth don’t we have high-quality desserts such as this in Durban?
“I have a great appreciation for good food made with good ingredients so this drove me to Italy to learn the craft of making gelato. My family supported me with this decision and my friends thought it was a fantastic way to get free gelato.
”Papaphotis studied his art at the prestigious university in Bologna, Italy.
“It was a relatively short course, about two months with an internship, but undoubtedly a priceless experience.
“I learnt the fundamentals of how to balance recipes and work with different ingredients. However, this was just a key to the front door,” he said.
After returning from Italy, Papaphotis spent eight months fine-tuning his skills, testing original recipes and figuring out different methods.
“I’ve had to pick up the knowledge and run with it. I’m still running,“ he said.
As for his favourite part about what he does, Papaphotos said: “I love working with my hands, preparing fresh seasonal fruits, roasting whole nuts, cooking 100% cocoa, infusing whole spices, all the aromas - it’s a beautiful thing.”
The idea of Momenti Artisan Gelato stems from the need to create “truly authentic flavours free of any additives”. “Our gelato is unique to South Africa as there are few ice cream parlours that handcraft all-natural flavours.
“Many business use ready-made mixes, powders and pastes which are full of flavourants, colourants and preservatives.
I am dead against using anything artificial. If I want a certain baked flavour, I will then bake my own confectionery and fold that into the gelato. If I want a strong mango flavour, I will use fresh mangoes in large quantities,” he said.
Momenti are making a name for themselves by regularly churning out unusual flavour combinations ranging from “Black Sesame Seed and Honey” to “Cinnamon Bun”.
Their vibrant yellow “Golden Turmeric Coconut” is another of their more exotic flavour options, the result of a careful infusion of whole and fresh spices.
Relishing coming up with new crazy flavours, Papaphotis said: “I can play around with recipes because I make them from scratch - I know how to play with ingredients because I’ve been taught.
“It’s great to have no idea if a new recipe will work, it lends to the creativity and adventure of making proper gelato.”
* Momenti Gelato are also frequent traders at the I Heart Market, Shongweni Farmers Market, Wonder Market and First Thursdays in Station Drive, and cater for functions and weddings. Contact: [email protected]