By - Mnishi Sharma
“I love making Gelato” - Chef Paolo
Toronto is one of the most multicultural cities in the world and has opened endless opportunities for people from different cultures to introduce and share their food and traditions through small businesses. One such small food business is Mizzica a small café and Gelato shop at Queen st west in Toronto, opened by Gelato chef Paolo Di Lallo and his wife back in 2020.
“We opened in a pandemic, and nobody believed in us, but we decided to open anyway and bring our idea and do it for a long time and be successful” - Chef Paolo
But this is not any ordinary gelato shop where you would go on a hot summer day to just buy a traditional gelato with the same old limited flavors on the menu. Paolo’s vision with Mizzica is to provide a premium Italian experience to his customers in Toronto, with something unique.
Mizzica is an Italian word that means 'wonder' or 'expressing awe'.
“We have had 60-70 different flavors of gelato at Mizzica so far and they always keep changing” - Chef Paolo
You read it right, Chef Paolo loves to experiment with his flavors, and he works towards not repeating the same flavors again as well. So, at Mizzica you may not find your favorite flavor on the menu on Saturday if you had it a day before on Friday.
“I make it from scratch with raw materials, I am an Artisian I choose raw materials fruits, chocolate, or any kind of nuts and I use them to mix and create new flavors, depends on what inspires me, it can be a day, can be good in the market, and if I find a good fruit which is ripe enough to make the flavor. Even on the internet, I find the nutritional fact of a fruit and I create my recipe according to that.” - Chef Paolo
Paolo’s creativity and confidence in his craft are very big reasons behind his success, because have you ever imagined chili in ice cream? If not, Paolo made it and sold it at his shop. Dave a long-time resident of Toronto loves Mizzica because of its experimental flavors.
“It blows my mind to see something like that, you wonder to yourself how is it even possible and then when you taste it you still can’t believe how well these unimaginable combinations taste” - Dave
It is not just the endless new flavors that are unique about Mizzica and Paolo’s gelato. Paolo is also trying to put Toronto on the map of one of the best Gelato cities in the world by not only competing but winning awards at International Gelato making competition. Mizzica’s recent success happened at the Sherbeth Festival 2022 in Palermo, Italy, where chef Paolo won third prize for his Gelato as he proudly represented Toronto in his home country.
“I apply for competitions worldwide for gelato making and here in Canada and outside Canada I have had success, I had the best gelato in Canada in 2021, and finalist in North America. I got third place in the Sherbeth festival which is in Italy, it is an international competition for Artisian in Gelato” - Chef Paolo
If you decide to beat the heat this summer with some handmade gelato from Mizzica, you can find them at 307 Queen Street West from 8 am to 11 pm, and maybe enjoy your favorite not so very conventional ice-cream flavors on a waffle cone and be a part of this growing community.