De Local Gelato
BY ANAAM IKRAM
Bahrain is blessed with summer weather for nine months of the year. What better place then to introduce Italian gelato, the perfect way to cool down as the temperature rises.
Bahraini gelato-artisan, Ahmed Meamari, has brought to the Kingdom, Italy’s finest dessert option with a Bahraini twist from his very own kitchen.
With a background in Computer Science, Ahmed says he has always had a passion for food. He had always wanted to have his own business but it was not until his trip to Capri, Italy, that Ahmed got inspired to venture into the food industry. Though all Italian cuisine is appetising, it was the ever-famous Italian gelato that tingled Ahmed’s taste buds. The light and creamy frozen dessert is rich in flavor but has less fat and sugar content than ice cream. The experience resulted in Ahmed taking an intensive 3-week course on how to make gelato the right way. “The base is the most essential part,” he says, “like a pizza base and then you add different ingredients to make different pizza flavours. It’s the same with gelato, as long as you have the base right you can then experiment with different flavours.”
Educating himself on how to get the perfect texture, Ahmed says he did research online as well as in various companies in Italy. After purchasing a machine in 2013, Ahmed started by serving his ice cream to family and friends before creating his brand. “I wanted it to be local. I wanted to do something to show this is a local gelato with an Italian touch and that’s why I thought of calling it De Local Gelato”.
In 2014 Ahmed officially set up his brand and started selling his homemade gelato.
Having seen all the same flavours everywhere; Ahmed decided to offer the Kingdom an array of flavours that would hit close to home. When he created gelato using pistachio and saffron people really started to take notice, says Ahmed, and it helped kick things off for De Local Gelato. Getting creative with his flavours, he says he makes gelato using whatever ingredients he feels like. “I created cookies and cream but instead of using vanilla, I used chocolate. I created the dark chocolate gelato and many people, especially the older generation, really liked it because it’s not too sweet. “There is a lot of demand for it,” he says. For his peanut butter flavoured gelato, Ahmed creates everything by hand, to ensure customers not only get the full taste of peanut butter, but it’s also healthier than many other frozen dessert options available in Bahrain. Always looking to incorporate culture into his gelato, Ahmed has created flavours inspired by Karak Chai as well as Mastic Gum and plans to explore options such as dates, knafa and Bahraini or Omani halwa for the month of Ramadan. De Local Gelato also has novelty flavours; for Christmas for example, using the season’s colours such as white and red, he created a berry and vanilla refreshing mixture.
“My philosophy is that if I have a passion for it, I will do it the best that I can, and the money will come later”, Ahmed explains of the small-scale nature of his business so far. Having a full-time job, he says, makes it difficult for him to devote all his time towards his business. His wife and brother assist him in terms of managing the Instagram page as well as dealing with orders and customers. Working on the weekends and stocking up the freezer for orders, Ahmed says he does eventually want to open a shop but for the time being he is happy serving out of his house. “I’ve never received any negative feedback for my ice cream. Through word of mouth, De Local Gelato is growing at a steady and manageable pace’’.
Customers who wish to place orders can contact De Local Gelato through the official Instagram page and have the option of either pick up or delivery. For those who wish to sit and enjoy a creamy serving of De Local Gelato, they can also visit Ice Cream House in Riffa.
Working on more unique flavours, Ahmed Meamari has successfully captured the taste of Bahrain and shared it through his handmade dessert. De Local Gelato’s dessert is the ideal summer treat. With its soft and creamy texture, rich flavours and refreshing experience, the homemade sweet is bound to leave you wanting more than just one bowl.
For more information:
Phone: (00973) 36880882
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