Flavours will include Mint Chocolate; Cappriccino; Strawberries and Cream; Turkish Delight; and our sublime new Mocha Chocolate.
Bring along a business card for a chance to win champange and chocolates in our “lucky dip” (drawn at 3.30pm).
Flavours will include Mint Chocolate; Cappriccino; Strawberries and Cream; Turkish Delight; and our sublime new Mocha Chocolate.
Bring along a business card for a chance to win champange and chocolates in our “lucky dip” (drawn at 3.30pm).
Welcome to Lovespoon, home of Wales’ original Goats’ Milk Gelato.
**Scroll down for all our latest news!**
We would like to extend warm wishes all our wonderful Customers for a peaceful, prosperous, happy and healthy 2011 – may all your dreams and wishes come true.
2010 was a very successful year for us, building year-on-year upon our excellent reputation for creating fine gourmet food and winning a number of prestigious awards whilst gradually extending our customer base and having the opportunity to meet friends old and new at food fairs and festivals throughout the South and West of Wales.
2011 is already proving to be even more amazing: as we work towards moving into our own Gelato Dairy here on the farm, using the latest state-of-the-art handbuilt artisan equipment; enabling us to craft an even finer product and experiment with all sorts of wonderful and innovative new varieties and products - the most enjoyable and exciting part of what we do.
We have gone to great lengths to source even better ingredients for the year ahead, including a wonderful single-estate organically-grown and ethically-sourced Madagascan vanilla, direct from the grower; exquisite I.G.P. Piedmontese pure roast hazelnut from a wonderful small growers’ co-operative; and the most delicious Pistaccio and walnut varieties imaginable. So you could say we’re going “nuts” for 2011! As ever, we strive to provide only the very best for you.
We have many more appetising things in the pipeline and look forward to sharing the next exciting chapters of our gelato journey with you, and also to receiving your continued suggestions for novel, unusual or even simply favourite flavours – do keep them coming as we love any and every opportunity for “creative play”!
A little about What We Do
We craft this luxury, Italian-style artisan frozen dessert so that it is balanced between ice cream & sorbet, making it lower in fat and sugar but superior in flavour. We only use the highest-quality, natural ingredients, sourced as locally as possible to lower our carbon footprint whilst supporting local businesses. And of course the beautiful, fresh milk comes from our own herd of pedigree Dairy Goats – ensuring we manage everything, literally “from cradle cone.”
You could say it’s a labour of Lovespoon!
This new-look site is currently under construction (so please bear with us!) owing to a few ‘technical hitches’ in getting the main Website up-and-running at http://www.lovespoongelato.co.uk.
On this page you’ll find all our latest news; while on the right-hand side you’ll be able to access information regarding our Gelato and its flavours, a calendar of events about the food festivals and markets we’ll be attending (look out for our special varieties – we love to offer something different from the norm!) and of course, where you can purchase the gelato (a Mail Order service is coming soon…) – plus a bit about us and our lovely little Ffarm.
So sit back & enjoy your tour of Lovespoon Gelato – many thanks for visiting.
Tony & Jo.
UK FOOD ALLERGY AND INTOLERANCE WEEK
24th – 30th January 2011
It’s an unhappy but well-known fact that thousands of people suffer from food allergies or food intolerances; the number of which are increasing at an alarming rate.
Food Allergy and Intolerance Week is dedicated to raising awareness of allergies and intolerance and their related symptoms; such as migraine, asthma, eczema, Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS), Coeliac disease and joint pains (for example Rheumatoid Arthritis) that can come as a result.
We are at least consoled that many of you (including us, incidentally!) who suffer from health challenges such as dairy allergy or intolerance, asthma, eczema, arthritis, etc are able to enjoy our goats’ milk gelato; and often even find that some of the dreadful symptoms are thankfully alleviated/soothed by its’ consumption.
And as we care so much about you and your health here in our tranquil little Welsh valley at Lovespoon HQ, we’ve decided that this is just the right time to tell you about some exciting new developments we have in the pipeline for the next few seasons!
You already know, of course, that Lovespoon Gelato not only tastes sublime but is also a “healthy” alternative to most ice-creams; being lower in fat and sugar than standard and premium* varieties.
In addition, it is made from only natural, unprocessed** ingredients: our own goats’ milk; eco-friendly British sugar; local Welsh free-range egg yolk; and with a touch of velvet-smooth goats’ cream for that luxuriously indulgent texture.
On your behalf we have been working hard to source some fantastic new, really punchy, “Superfruit” ingredients: some of which will be making their UK dessert debut, exclusively, with Lovespoon.
And not only that: we are also studying with one of the world’s experts in pro- & prebiotic infusion of frozen milk-based produce so that we can bring you the ultimate “get-up-&-go” gelato!
We balance everything for optimum nutrition and absolute pleasure. So if a food allergy or intolerance has been getting you down, we intend to put the spring back in your step and a smile back on your face: Love Life + Love Gelato = LOVESPOON!
*Whilst you might assume that “Premium” means “Luxury” when applied to ice cream, think again…it’s actually typical fat content. Thus anything containing 18-35% fat, is technically classed as “Premium”; whilst above that level it is classed as “Super Premium”.
Meanwhile any such product containing lower than 5% fat, cannot even be deemed ice cream in the UK; as it is considered an “iced dessert” (N.B. with no consideration of the product’s ingredients – this extract from a media review of popular mainstream “mentioning-no-names” products, reads thus regarding an “ultra-low-fat” brand:
Description: Great taste low fat strawberry sticks. What it actually is: This low-calorie, low-fat product is so far removed from the dairy it is not even allowed to call itself ice cream.
“Its key ingredient is inulin, a plant fibre extracted from chicory root that absorbs water and forms a gel within the product which gives a smooth texture that mimics a fat”, explained a spokeswoman.
Inulin has the very “helpful-to-dieters” property of passing straight through the human gut almost without being digested.
Taste Test Verdict: Soft and claggy, then disappears rather than melts in the mouth in a very unnerving way. The texture is reminiscent of damp cotton wool.
**Carrageenan is a natural but highly-processed ingredient known as a linear sulphated polysaccharide which is a gelatinous extract from the family of red Chondrus Crispus seaweeds. Carrageenan has the EU additive E-number E407 or E407a when present as “processed eucheuma seaweed”, and is commonly used as an emulsifier in many dairy ice creams.
Recent research worryingly suggests that carrageenan can cause ulcerations in the gastro-intestinal tract; intestinal inflammation; inflammatory bowel disease and gastro-intestinal cancer, due to its unusual alpha-1,3-galactosidic link that is part of its disaccharide unit structure.
No thank you – not in our gelato: the only “E” or emulsifier you’ll find in Lovespoon, is Egg Yolk!
Wishing Lovers everywhere, a wonderful St Dwynwen’s Day on 26th January.
And for all you Welsh romantics out there, what could be a more delicious gesture than a specially-prepared intimate meal to share with your loved one…? Here’s a sexy selection of dishes which is sure to melt the frostiest of hearts – so turn the music down low, light the candles & pop open the bubbly….
♥ MENU ♥
Starter: Carmarthen Ham-wrapped Scallops with Marsala & Sage
Main: Fillet of Welsh Saltmarsh Lamb with Passionfruit & Redcurrant Jus
Dessert: Spiced Honey-roast Figs with Welsh Lovespoon Gelato
Welsh Cheeseboard: Gorwydd Caerphilly; Teifi Cheese’s Celtic Promise, Pant Mawr’s Golden Cenarth; Pont Gâr Brie; Boksburg Blue; Caws Cadog Vintage Cheddar; Oak-Smoked Talley Mountain Goats’ Cheese; Pantysgawn Goats Cheese Log, rolled in a Crushed Black Peppercorn Crust (couldn’t resisit the latter for a sexy Valentine’s day meal… ;-) !).
- Serve with a selection of fine biscuits for cheese; red & white grapes; & fresh celery batons. –
To Complete Your Fine Dining: Fresh-ground Preseli Coffee complemented by Chocolat Noir Natural Mint Lovespoon Gelato served in wafer-thin Dark Chocolate Shells.
STARTER: Carmarthen Ham-wrapped Scallops with Marsala & Sage
- Serves Two -
Plump scallops wrapped in Carmarthenshire’s famous wafer-thin dry-cured Ham – which easily rivals the finest Parma – makes a memorable starter with a deliciously Welsh twist.
12 scallops; 12 small fresh sage leaves; 25g/1 oz butter; 6 slices Carmarthen Ham, cut in half; 3 tbsp Marsala wine; pinch of vegetable stock powder; seasoning of Halen Môn sea salt & freshly-ground black pepper to taste; wild rocket or watercress leaves to garnish.
Place a sage leaf on top of each scallop & wrap half a slice of Carmarthen Ham around each one. Heat the butter in a frying pan & add the Parma Ham-wrapped scallops, cooking them for approximately two minutes before turning them over to cook the other side. Add the Marsala to the pan, along with 2 tbsps of hot water & the pinch of stock powder. Simmer for 2 – 3 minutes to reduce the liquid until you have a delicious sauce. Take care not to overcook the scallops though; as they can quickly become tough. Serve the scallops on warm plates, drizzled over with the cooking juices & seasoned to taste. Garnish with a few wild rocket or watercress leaves for a simple yet elegant starter.
MAIN COURSE: Fillet of Welsh Saltmarsh Lamb with Passionfruit & Redcurrant Jus
- Serves Two -
Plump, pouting slivers of tender, pink lamb must be one of the most romantic foods for a truly seductive, melt-in-the-mouth main course Valentine’s Dinner. Our famous Welsh Saltmarsh lamb is hailed as the ultimate in fine cuisine; & when married with the tang of the redcurrant jus & that cheeky hint of sexy passionfruit, it’s an irresistable combination.
For the Dish: 2 fillets of lamb; a little French wholegrain mustard; dash of olive oil; squeeze of fresh lemon juice; scattering of fresh, finely-chopped rosemary; seasoning of Halen Môn sea salt & freshly-ground black pepper.
For the Jus: 1 whole, fresh Passionfruit; 100 ml beef stock; 100ml red wine; 2 tsp redcurrant compote/jelly; 1 walnut-sized knob of butter.
First, cut a piece of tinfoil in which to wrap each fillet into a neat parcel. Lay one of your lamb fillets into the centre of each piece of foil & spread the lamb with a gentle smear of the wholegrain mustard. Drizzle a little of the olive oil over the fillets & season to taste with the salt & pepper. Add a squeeze of fresh lemon juice & sprinkle about half a tablespoon of freshly-chopped rosemary leaves over each fillet. Seal the foil parcels, place them on a baking tray & cook in a preheated oven at 190°C for approximately 20 minutes for perfectly pink, tender lamb (check after 15 minutes that the meat is cooking as required).
Now, it’s time to prepare the jus. Carefully juice the passionfruit & reserve both the juice & those lovely jewelled seeds. Put the stock & red wine into a saucepan & bring to the boil. Cook it briskly until reduced by half. Now add the passionfruit juice & the redcurrant compote, then bring back to the boil & cook briskly until the concoction forms a sumptuously thick gravy. Stir in the butter & keep warm until ready to be served with the meat….
So, back to the Lamb…! When cooked to perfection, discard most of the rosemary & carefully cut each fillet into slices. Gently rest each slice against the next, imitating the shape of the original fillet. Serve with crushed new potatoes & fine green beans – drizzled with your passionfruit & redcurrant jus, with a little spoonful of the reserved passionfuit seeds, spilled seductively over the last slice of the lamb….a truly winning romantic dish.
DESSERT: Spiced Honey-roast Figs with Welsh Lovespoon Gelato
- Serves Two -
Apart from being both healthy & (allegedly!) a potent aphrodisiac, when married with unctuous honey, sweet spices & the coolness of top-quality ice cream, these delicious fruits can’t be beaten. And as ‘Lovespoon’ is lower in fat & sugar than normal dairy (cows’ milk) ice cream, it’s a marriage made in heaven…!
3 tbsp clear New Quay Welsh wildflower honey (alternatively use orange blossom or acacia, if available); knob of butter; 1 tbsp orange liqueur; 12 ripe figs; 1 sp fresh-torn thyme; 1 large scoop Lovespoon ‘Simplicity’ Gelato.
Put the honey, butter, orange liqueur & cinnamon into a small saucepan. Heat gently, stirring until liquid.
Using a small, sharp knife make a cross-like incision in the top of each fig, cutting almost down to the base of each ripe fruit. Place the figs upright in a roasting pan, splaying them out shamelessly & slowly pouring the warm liquid all over them. Roast thus for 15 minutes.
Remove the gelato from the freezer, allowing it to temper; & sprinkle a little of the fresh thyme over each fig. Return the figs to the oven & switch it off (unless it’s a Rayburn/Aga, in which case just open the door a little wider!), leaving the door ajar. Keep the figs in the warm oven for approximately 1o minutes whilst waiting for the Gelato to reach the perfect soft, scooping consisitency. Serve together….& enjoy!
SHOWTIME. With the demise of Stoneleigh’s Royal Show making this arguably THE most important Agricultural Show in Britain – if not Europe – everyone prays for a week of unbroken sunshine and smiling judges - those entering any of the hard-fought competitions, that is.
This has been our third annual season of competition at the Royal Welsh Show; and it is always a hard-fought, nail-biting battle as the very finest jockey for pole position to claim the crown in their home nation.
We’re relieved and delighted – nay, over the moon – to report that, for the third consecutive year running, Lovespoon Gelato has achieved unrivalled success by winning their premier class, three years in a row: the first year (2008) with the tantalisingly luscious, Strawberries and Cream; the second year (2009) with delicate-yet-zesty Lemon Grove (also a Gold Winner in the 2010/11 United Kingdom Great Taste Awards); and this year also, sweeping the board yet again and stealing a ‘hat trick’ of accolades with yet another Gold: for our deliciously dark yet refreshingly vibrant Mint Chocolate Gelato which is crafted to our secret recipe by cooking pure poudre cacao into the base mixture of our very own goats’ milk; cream; British sugar; and local free-range egg yolk and then marrying it with the clean, fresh flavour of pure peppermint oil.
Not only that; but for two years out of the last three, we’ve also won the overall Produce and Packaging competition: a hard-fought prize which we originally won at our first attempt in 2008; but had our crown rightly snatched in 2009 by formidable competitors the amazing Caws Cenarth (who coincidentally are also good friends and neighbours of ours’ and of whom, these lovely people, we are in absolute awe: their consummate cheesemaking skills are legendary not only throughout Wales, not only throughout the UK, but in fact, the World over….so no hard feelings – at all!).
Indeed every time we compete against them we feel humbled; and so for us it makes that coveted Gold, even more of an achievement when we do get it - nonetheless almost equal delight if we fail to hit the mark, when our friends in our stead “pip us to the exacting post” so to speak. So in that Class as well we have struck Gold yet again - for two out of three years; and in such illustrious company, who can blame us for feeling proud?
Meanwhile with the Royal Welsh Show’s numbers swelled to ever-greater heights I must say it is a truly wonderful, not-to-be-missed event in the agricultural calendar. I must say I especially adore the Sunday evening before the Show officially opens: whilst frustrating in the mayhem of delivering exhibits, it seems that particular evening is always warm, is always balmy, is always festive, in atmosphere.
After the hard work is done there’s nothing better to melt away the stress than wander around for a bite to eat and catch the Annual Service of Blessing; with choirs, brass bands, harps….literally a feast of an uncompetitive Eistedfodd – lifting hearts, minds and melodious Welsh voices in marvellous music and song, celebrating all things that are bright and beautiful in Nature and in this wonderful World – touching a chord in all our hearts; as only the people of this great nation of Wales, know just how.
Oh, what a place to live; to be alive, to be truly alive.
Thank you, Wales.
Of all the UK’s food award schemes, the GREAT TASTE AWARDS is considered by far the most important. Completely independent and uncompromisingly rigorous, it is trusted by retailers, buyers and consumers alike. GREAT TASTE is to speciality food and drink what MICHELIN is to fine dining.
So when the moment that all gourmet food producers eagerly await in mid-July each year – the announcement of the winners in what are commonly known as “the Oscars of the Food Industry” – it’s an anxious & exciting time.
Thus when the jangling phone heralded the voice of Sally from the Guild of Fine Food the other day, I was fervently crossing my fingers that we might be rewarded with some wonderful news….
Following on our success in the 2009 Awards when we achieved the successful pinnacle of not only our year, but indeed our fledgeling careers as professional Gelatières Artigianales – a Gold with our Honeycomb Gelato – we are immensely proud & delighted to announce that this year we have excelled ourselves: not only has Lovespoon‘s sumptuous new Turkish Delight Gelato won a Gold Award; so has our beautiful Lemon Grove, which also took a coveted First Prize at the Royal Welsh Show last year. And that’s not all….!
Each year, the Awards’ organiser – the Guild of Fine Food – seeks to improve the judging mechanics. Before Gold is awarded, a minimum of eight experts – & generally as many as sixteen – taste, discuss and agree. This year, the Guild recruited even more experts who, working with key buyers, retailers, chefs and food writers, blind tasted the many thousands of entries to ensure they were skilfully and independently assessed: a tough task, considering that entries were up by 25% on 2009′s already fierce competition.
But before I go on, let me tell you a little more about these two gorgeous gelati. Ironically both these varieties were made in response to challenges. Whilst I do enjoy a chomp on a good quality cube of Turkish Delight I’ve never been a personal fan of ice cream purported to be of that flavour; as I find the premixed pastes & gels from which it is generally made, tend not only to be an off-putting lurid pink colour, but taste of something akin to washing up liquid.
Indeed having been offered a particular pot from another producer to try I was so utterly horrified at the gobsmakingly dreadful slurp of the first-&-only spoonful of the vile, claggy concoction to pass my lips; I felt I absolutely had to try & make something better – no matter my own misgivings regarding overall flavour.
So I sent fellow afficiando Tony away to the sultry spice souks of Damascus, to scour said emporia for the ultimate ingredients; & he returned triumphantly clutching bottles of beautiful Lebanese rosewater. From this, we made a subtle infusion to create that wonderfully authentic flavour.
Not only does it taste like genuine Turkish Delight in frozen form, the delicate perfume which wafts forth from every scoop is reminiscent of a rose garden…& sports its’ own lovely, simple, natural creamy colour…with not a hint of luminescent pink!
Mind you whilst I am delighted it won an award I have to admit that this particular entry was from a batch which was “thrown together” in a bit of a hurry at the end of a very long & intense day…so I know it could have been even better. And I still have further experimentation to do before I have satisfied myself that it’s as good as can be; perhaps we’ll add a further subtle hint of exotic cardamom into the infusion; maybe a few flecks of dark, delicate, brittle São Tomé chocolate to enhance those floral notes….exciting stuff.
Meanwhile our beautiful Lemon Grove – a favourite of local celebrity chefs – was created in response to a bland assertion that “you can’t possibly make a ‘proper’ ice cream, from real lemons. Their acidic juice would only curdle the mixture; all you can do with lemons is make a nice sharp sorbet.”
So: I ensured I became thoroughly acquainted with these luscious little fruity friends…! I ultimately selected the juice & peel of organic Verna lemons from some lovely little groves in Spain; as the Verna has an unctuous thick, oily peel which infuses our unique crème anglaise recipe, to perfection – without any curdling! Hah.
I also love to use (when I can get my greedy wee mitts on them) the plump & vivacious organic Italian Primofiore fruit as they sport such a beautiful fresh, floral aroma: put one to your nose; close your eyes, & inhale…with the subtle caress of a warm summer breeze you’ll be transported to the beautiful grove where that cheeky little lemon was born & bred.
Imagine the brightly effervescent sunshine blush of the ripe fruit, peeping coyly amidst the lush green leaves of the mother tree. Imagine warm, dark, umber earth against the vibrant backdrop of a cerulean sky; plunging down to merge with the stunning, sapphire sea…
These are nuggets from our treasured images of the Italy in which we were both personally so very lucky, to live; eat; & explore. Now our new journey relives & indeed revitalises the original delight of direct experience through the more subtle experience of sheer taste. What we wanted to achieve with Lemon Grove, transports our imaginations back to the Italy we knew & loved….indeed; that which sparked our passion for beautiful, artisanal Gelato.
But let’s cut to the taste….quite simply, a balanced amount of freshly-squeezed lemon juice and fragrant shards of peel cut through the richness of this gelato to create a delicate & refreshing dessert; which for a real “wow” factor to conclude an elegant dinner party looks stunning when served in hollowed-out lemon shells & dressed with a little zest.
P.S. We always use organic lemons; because when using the peel you want to ensure there have been no poisonous chemicals sprayed on them.
But the icing on the cake, is this proud announcement: Lovespoon has achieved an awesome Double Gold with our new Cappriccino flavour; which we created in response to the wishes of you – our valued customers. Comments that you just couldn’t find “a really good coffee ice cream” spurred us to satisfy your desire.
So (as ever) we did some thorough research; & eventually hit upon a lovely blend of Fairtrade Colombian & Costa Rican coffees – both made with Arabica beans: balancing the subtle, fruity flavour of the first with the deep, full-bodied intensity of the second. This creates a superbly robust & well-rounded palate without being overpowering or bitter; the smooth taste lingering pleasurably rather than (as so often tends to happen in a coffee ice cream) disappearing into watery nothingness.
Anyway: it was evidently a significant hit with the Great Taste judges; of whom twenty must unanimously agree that an entry has achieved absolute perfection for it to be awarded those coveted two stars. And as out of all the many thousands of entries submitted this year only 456 were awarded a Double Gold…we’re feeling somewhat chuffed.
To have the accolade of FOUR Great Taste awards within the space of a year….well; it doesn’t get much better than that!
And as for our wonderful Milkforce ladies whose life of luxury produces such delicious milk – the heart of our gelato…? Rest assured they thoroughly enjoyed their celebratory slap-up supper banquet including a wide variety of fresh caprine hedgerow delicacies followed by a hearty “toast” of their favourite warm molasses tipple.
But it is all thanks to YOU – our wonderful Customers – who have made this dream a reality with your imagination, originality & insightfulness when selecting or requesting special & unique flavours which have led us to explore & to push adventurous boundaries on your behalf.
Thus it is we offer our sincere & grateful thanks, to all those who have helped & supported us throughout what has been another challenging but immensely rewarding year: we couldn’t have done it without you. :0)
Best wishes -
Jo, Tony + all our Cheeky Caprine Chums.
Lovely to welcome so many enthusiastic supporters of local produce to the Farmers’ Market in Pembroke today…..
…And congratulations to those, brave enough to take the Dragonfire Challenge…!
This is a special St David’s Day recipe which is a marriage of plump mild, chipotle to the smoky fire of ancho chillies; nestled in our finest cool, Rich Chocolate gelato….perplexingly hot & cold at the same time. Postively addictive!
And for those who didn’t feel quite brave enough to sample the Dragonfire we had the alternative ‘Winter Warmer’ treat of a Hot Shot: classical Italian Affogato – your favourite flavour of gelato drizzled with a shot of strong espresso coffee to banish the Winter blues.
In addition to the fearsome Dragonfire we also offered the lovely, light, Madagascan Royal Bourbon Vanilla - delicate & refreshing; some delicious Wild Strawberry gelato alongside our UK Great Taste Gold award-winning Honeycomb gelato; & a delightful but already highly popular newcomer, the richly indulgent Fforest Ddu/Black Forest…dark chocolate gelato, infused with sultry Amaretto & layered with a homemade cherry coulis in homage to the classic cake dessert (but thankfully sporting far less calories!).
Other sumptuous offerings from your favourite local food & drink producers, included delicious cuts of meat from Cig Lodor (plus burgers, sausages & bacon cooked to order); Alderwick’s exceptional, refreshing cordials; sublime cakes & baked produce; fresh eggs, vegetables, jams & chutneys; plus an extensive range of plants & exquisite hand-crafted goods.
Pembroke Farmers’ Market is held fornightly on Saturdays in the Town Hall, from 0930am – 1.30pm.