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Reasons to Love Toronto Now

Because Toronto has a 16-course (!) gelato tasting menu

Think of it as a wine tasting for sweet freaks

By Rebecca Fleming| Photography by Patrick Marcoux
Because Toronto has a 16-course (!) gelato tasting menu
Because Toronto has a 16-course (!) gelato tasting menu

There are tasting menus—three-hour meals of bite-size dishes, preciously plated with unidentifiable foams and gels—and then there’s this sugary extravaganza plucked straight from your childhood dreams. Death in Venice owner and chemical engineer Kaya Ogruce—Toronto’s own Willy Wonka of gelato—now offers group tours of his Little Portugal laboratory, where he creates unique flavours using seasonal ingredients, occasionally collaborating with other local artisans. Ogruce’s always-rotating selection of recipes includes hay honey caramel, lemon ricotta rosemary, olive oil and sea salt, Turkish Delight and cheeseboard—yes, cheeseboard, complete with brie, walnuts and white wine.

Because Toronto has a 16-course (!) gelato tasting menu

The experience starts with a primer on the history of Italian ice cream, includes a behind-the-scenes look at the lab, and then culminates in a 16-course gelato tasting. Ogruce encourages revellers to engage in a bit of guesswork—Are those notes of bourbon? Do I detect a caramel backbone? Beets?!—before he dives into the flavour profile and inspiration for each. The tour is unexpectedly technical, more like a wine tasting for sweet freaks than a gluttonous free-for-all. Guests can sip water between bites, and some recipes—like a bright and acidic passion fruit lemongrass—act as natural palate cleansers. The cherry on top: everyone walks away with a scoop of their favourite flavour.

Because Toronto has a 16-course (!) gelato tasting menu

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