My cousin and I ventured to Bella Gelateria for the Hot Chocolate Festival. My cousin, Jocelyn, is from Toronto. I was explaining to her how delicious the gelato is here and that if she were to return in Vancouver for a warmer month we should come back. I ordered The Gold Medal, which is Salted Pecan and Maple Syrup. It won the gold medal in the 2012 Gelato Competition. Jocelyn got the Italian Honey Moon, which has honey nougat and hazelnut with organic milk and Michel Cluizel chocolate. Both were served with Erin Ireland’s “to Die for Banana Bread”.

At the cashier, he told passed a drink and said it was the Gold Medal. It actually was the Honey Moon, so I was confused at first. That is because the flavour is very distinctive. I knew it was the Italian Honey Moon, but kept a straight face. The nougat were like marshmallows submerged in a foamy, velvety cocoa with a fleeting flavour of hazelnut. He corrected himself and apologized when he held my drink and realized he reversed the drink call. By all means, he was a very nice and pleasant person and the service was good!

We sat in the back and Jocelyn gave me two shirts from her work. She told me about upcoming projects she’s working on. Have you heard of Unplugged Expo? You should definitely check it out! She also talked to me about memories she had of my father, my sister, my aunt Corrie and my aunt Lennie. The best memory is that of my sister Dee. My family went go-karting and apparently my uncle drove super slow as everyone sped past him. My sister was too young at the time to go-kart, so she watched. When they finished, her 6 year old self exclaimed: “You should just pick up the go-kart and walk, it’d be faster.”

We were so busy with talking, I realized I should have a sip of my hot chocolate. The Gold Medal tasted like drinking liquid pecans, it was thick and almost chewy in the nut residue it leaves inside the palate, allowing the maple to permeate the tastebuds. The banana bread was a good pair, it was not too sweet, very moist and a small piece to help clean the palate from these rich flavours. The banana bread was the best with the pecan as the bread would pick up the pecan flavours lingering, and I could at times trick myself into thinking the banana bread had pecans in it.

The experience? I found that the hot chocolate was a little too nutty for me, but that’s because they gave it in a huge cup! It was fantastic for the bit I drank and my cousin seemed very pleased with hers as well.

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