Four Questions with Eduardo Kreindel, Architect and Gelato Maker
In 2008, Eduardo Kreindel went from architect to artisan, starting a business making gelatos and sorbets with his wife. We caught up with the man behind Giovanna Gelato to learn about the career change, and to talk shop about his frozen confections.
You're not the first architect I've met that has gone on to a totally different career. I had no idea it was such a trying occupation! Why did you end up trading in your t-square for a batch freezer?
I don’t just have one answer for why I left architecture and started manufacturing gelato and sorbet. I started practicing architecture in 1980 and ended in 2008. It was a long journey, full of many joyful moments. At the end of my career, I did not spend too much time designing buildings and spaces; most of my time was devoted to what I consider a less creative part of our profession, the administration of projects and coordination with the end users, clients, consultants, contractors, etc. I realized that this part of architecture was not what I enjoyed or wanted to do and started looking closely into another idea that my wife and I had for many years: manufacturing an artisan, high-end quality gelato and sorbet, similar to the one being manufactured in Argentina.
Argentina, the country I was born and raised in, is home to some of the finest gelatos and sorbets, thanks to the influence of the Italian gelato-makers who used to spend the Argentine spring/summer seasons in Argentina (September to March) and the Italian spring/summer seasons (April to August) in Italy.
Give us a quick primer on gelato vs. ice cream: How do they differ, and what makes gelato, presumably, better?
There are two differences between gelato and ice cream: ice cream has a higher fat content and more ice. Giovanna Gelato’s fat content can range between 6-8%, coming mainly from the fat in whole milk. Ice cream’s fat content can be as high as 15% or higher. Some ice cream products can even have a fat content between 22-28%, mainly provided by the butterfat or cream used instead of milk.
The amount of ice is related to the speed of the blade used to mix the gelato or ice cream during production. The higher the speed of the blade, the more air is incorporated into the final product. As a result of more air, more ice forms in the air pockets. When a frozen dessert contains more ice, it is less smooth due to the increase in ice crystals.
In the frozen-dessert industry, the speed of the blade is called “over-run.” Usually ice cream is manufactured with a 100% over-run. This means that half of the container is filled with ice. Giovanna Gelato’s over-run ranges between 20 to 25%. In summary, it is my opinion that gelato is healthier because it has less fat, and it is smoother on the palate because it contains less ice. In addition, a lower fat and ice content allows for better feel and intensity of the flavor.
I noticed that four years ago you were in a very small space producing 450-500 pints a week. Have you expanded business since then?
Through the years and through hard work we substantially expanded our clientele and production. We recently leased a space in Malden, Mass., and we will move our production out of our small Newton facility. It is important that we stay in the Boston area because we are a local manufacturer serving this area and we would like to continue with this philosophy.
You've been asked to make all sorts of offbeat flavors for local restaurants and hotels. What's the wackiest you've been asked to come up with?
Some of the “wackiest” flavors we have created include Wattle Gelato (made with the seed of a native Australian tree, called wattle), Gazpacho Sorbet (made to resemble the famous Spanish tomato soup), Truffle Gelato (made with truffle mushrooms), Crème Fraiche Gelato (a regular for one of our customers made to resemble crème fraiche), and others such as Tomato with Basil Sorbet and Olive Oil Gelato. We typically make 30 to 40 different flavors per week and are constantly thinking up new flavors on our own and with the help of our clients.
The fact that we manufacture all of our gelatos and sorbets to order gives us the flexibility and capability to make many different types of flavors. All of our artisan products are manufactured and delivered between 48 to 72 hours after the orders are placed. Many chefs and pastry chefs like to work with us because we provide high-end quality custom flavors made with top-of-the-line gelato machines. All of our products are fresh and we use the highest quality ingredients we can get.
Four Questions is a weekly interview column featuring interesting people connected with the Greater Boston Jewish community. Find past columns here. Have an idea of someone we should interview? Email Molly!