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Cafés offer a new take on the classic ice cream sundae

Liquid nitrogen ice cream

Science Cream and Coco Gelato are two independent cafés doing ice cream differently

Making ice cream with liquid nitrogen

The ice cream lab: image courtesy of Science Cream

You’ll find Science Cream tucked away in Castle Arcade. The independent ice cream parlour debuts a range of new seasonal flavours this week.

The menu includes quirky mixtures such as Toffee Apple and Ginger Treacle Cake. But Peanut Butter and Banana Jam is the favourite of general assistant Saneela Khan.

Discussing the variety of seasonal flavours, Saneela says, “Cinnamon’s quite popular in autumn and winter. We do pumpkin flavour as well.”

Besides the variety of ingredients, Saneela believes that Science Cream’s innovative use of liquid nitrogen enhances the quality of the final product.

Saneela describes the process, which customers can watch live at the café: “The nitrogen reduces the ice crystals that appear, making the ice cream much smoother and creamier.”

Coco Gelato ice cream counter

Coco Gelato’s selection of flavours

Another independent café with its own unique twist on ice cream is Coco Gelato, in Cathays. Manager Marco Leeo thinks that allowing customers to design their own sundaes, crepes and waffles sets Coco Gelato apart.

He emphasises three key elements that keep Coco Gelato’s customers coming back for more: “People have got a choice. They can build their own. It’s a combination of [this], the quality of the product, and we work hard.”

Marco highlights their focus on sourcing Italian ingredients as the key component in creating authentic gelato. Supervisor Ricardo Salimeni adds that the ice cream is “freshly made every day,” to produce the best flavour.

Both Saneela and Marco are proud of the originality of the businesses. Saneela says Science Cream remains “the only one in Wales that [uses] liquid nitrogen.”

Marco says: “Coco Gelato is independent. We do things our way.” Just like the do-it-yourself desserts they offer to customers.

Be it via unique ingredients or mix-and-match menus, Cardiff’s independent cafés continue finding new ways to carve their own niche in the local market. 

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