Douglas has been a professional food writer since 1986. He is also an award-winning actor and director in Community Theatre and has been for many years. His blog may be found at: www.urbaneguerilla.wordpress.com
Published March 11th 2015
Described as ‘Gourmet Gelato’, Tubs lives up to its name
There can be few occupations more pleasant than selling ice cream to children.
Strictly speaking, Minna, the new owner and operator of Tubs in Guildford, doesn't sell ice cream at all - she sells gelati.
Minna and her wares (Photograph by D Sutherland-Bruce)
Gelato may well be the Italian for 'ice cream', but the reality is that the two are quite different. Ice cream is made of milk, cream, sugar and egg yolks. The ingredients are first cooked together into a rich custard, cooled, then churned at a fairly high speed to incorporate air, and served very cold.
Gelato starts out with a similar custard base as ice cream, but has a higher proportion of milk, a lower proportion of cream, and no eggs. It is churned at a much slower rate, incorporating less air, and leaving the gelato denser than ice cream.
Gelato is served at a slightly warmer temperature than ice cream, so its texture stays silkier and softer. Because it has a lower percentage of fat than ice cream, the main flavour ingredient really shines through.
And this is very true of Tub's gelati, made locally by Mimmo, from the freshest local ingredients. For example, the big-selling, award-winning Fig Strudel gelato is just about to go off the list, since fig season is drawing to a close.
Some of the list doesn't change, mostly the best-selling favourites, but there are several, maybe half a dozen, that change at Minna's whim, or on Mimmo's seasonal imperatives.
The day I dropped in to sample Tub's wares, I could, and did, try the Chocolate, Cherry Ripe, Coccomi, Cookies and Cream, Peppermint Choc-chip, Dark Chocolate (and that's your actual, real dark chocolate melted into the gelato - smooth, rich and delicious), Bacio, Fig Strudel, Salted Caramel, and Vanilla - made with vanilla beans and entirely perfect, not ordinary or boring at all, which is what most people think of as 'vanilla'.
An ever-changing feast (Photograph by D Sutherland-Bruce)
As well as the gelati, there's Tropical, Strawberry, and Lemon Sorbet, and a Passionfruit Yoghurt for your icy pleasure.
There is a limit to the number of gelati that only one mouth can taste, so I didn't try them all, but I did my best, and I'd like to chat about a couple that I particularly enjoyed.
The Dark Chocolate I've spoken about, but I'd like to mention it again because so many ice creams described as 'chocolate' are flavoured with chocolate, not made of real chocolate at all; they bear about as much relationship to chocolate, as tinned pineapple does to actual pineapples.
I also tried the most popular of all the gelati, the Salted Caramel - I didn't care for it, but everyone else loves it, so it's just me.
The sorbets are just delicious, light and crisp, with a refreshing as well as a cooling effect.
As well as the cold treats, Tubs serves cakes, muffins, waffles cooked while you wait, and served with syrups, cream, and ice cream.
Both Hot Chocolate and Coffee is available, and the gelati are available to eat on the premises, walk away and eat, or take-away and eat much later.
A good deal of Tubs' trade is from people dining at restaurants nearby, such as Alfred's, The King and I, and those wandering past on their way home.
Minna is at least as interesting as her wares, having in her short life worked in retail, hospitality, corporate travel and for a Scuba Diving Resort. She has lived all over Australia, in Germany, Scotland, and in Egypt.
She was born in Tasmania, but described arriving in Perth as 'coming home'; she loves the village atmosphere and cameraderie of Guildford.
I asked Minna if it was true that, if small boys wanted to grow up to be engine drivers, did small girls want to grow up to sell ice cream?
She laughed and said that no, it had never been even an idea in her head, but that her father had often expressed the wish to open an 'Ice Cream Parlour'.
Following his unexpected and sudden death in the middle of last year, the Tubs shop coincidentally came on the market, so in a sentimental mark of respect and admiration for his dream, she bought it.
Not a day has gone by that she has regretted the purchase, even when disaster strikes, the fridges play up, or the coffee machine blows up, she says selling iced treats to smiling faces of children and adults alike is worth everything.
Ably aided over the weekend by friend Jess, Minna's shop, Tubs, is open from about 11:00am weekends, 2:00pm each other day, except Monday when she's closed, until late.
Very Highly Recommended.
Take-away tubs at Tubs - selling fast (Photograph by D Sutherland-Bruce)
Congratulations Minna on the success of your business! We met on a tour in Thailand! Lovely to open in your father's memory too. I've never been to Australia but want to visit now just to taste your goodies. I love geleto with hot drinks! Perfect combination! Good luck! Claire Revell Liverpool England x