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    Gelato Factory’s new address in Pondy is also a Mediterranean  cafe, with salads, pastas and more.

    ON THE far end of Mission Street, behind bright red awnings and glass panels, temptation is served in creamy scoops—but with a healthy twist! With the launch of a new menu last week, the Gelato Factory is Pondicherry’s newest spot for a light Mediterranean lunch followed by an irresistible choice of desserts.

    Add ons
    “Most gelato parlours in Italy serve food these days, as long lunch breaks are a thing of the past and people prefer to lunch close to work,” says Francesco Carboni, an Italian, who, with Silvia Latini (and Aurovillian business partner Roma Hirani), created the brand which makes the best artisanal gelato in the region. The Auroville-based enterprise delighted dessert lovers by opening a full-fledged parlour in Pondicherry last month. Now it has added healthy salads, sandwiches prepared with Genovese focaccia bread (baked by their Italian baker friend) and organic coffees and teas to its array of freshly made gelato. “We don’t want to be a restaurant—just an ice-cream parlour with an Italian touch where you can also experience other elements of Italian food culture like good espresso and pasta.”

    Make your choice
    While pizza al padellino (pan pizza with a thick crust) will be introduced at the end of July, it is the home-made pastas plumped with olive oil, san marzano tomatoes and Auroville-made cheese that make lunch a wholesome, languid affair. Vegetarians have five types of pastas to choose from every day, though the ravioli stuffed with fresh spinach and spaghetti loaded with crabs, prawns and calamari are the best bets. The indolence created by a lulling ambience is heightened by the presence of pints of creamy gelato at arm’s reach. While the fruit sorbettos made with fruit juice or pulp are fat-free, the creamier gelatos like tiramisu and stracciatella have only three to ten per cent fat, explains Latini. “We get more people curious about how healthy the food they eat is,” she adds. The parlour offers a vegan bitter chocolate flavour, and more gelatos made with soy milk, rice milk and cashew nut milk will be introduced in the coming months along with options with jaggery and brown sugar. If you are looking to pick from the display cabinet, we recommend the cremino—a chocolate coated ice-cream lollipop or the affogato, where two scoops of ice-cream are drowned in freshly brewed espresso,
    Open from 10 am to 10.30 pm.  Pastas Rs 250 onwards. Details: 0413 65002631

    —Olympia Shilpa Gerald

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