Allegro Gelatoby Tyler Woods on Feb. 26, 2012, under restaurant
I am a gelato fan. It is so much different than ice cream and taste so much better. Maybe that is because it has less fat, more flavor and served at a different temperature than ice-cream making it creamer and richer. All I know is that gelato, which is Italy’s version of ice cream is wonderful. There are many places here in Tucson that make and serve gelato but none of them can even come close to Allegro on 446 N Campbell. So today Tucson Biz Beat not only salutes Allegro’s gelato, we proudly praise them and give them 5 tongues up!
There is something that is very special about Allegro and I think what is so special about it is Ivan Lucchina. He is the co-owner of this wonderful gelato shop. At first when I met him, I was unsure if I would do a story on him about his gelato, or the fact that Ivan is an artist. His canvas is the fresh ingredients he uses and the scoop. He takes the scoop and shapes and blends the creamy mixture and places it in your cone or cup with the skill of an artist. Gelato is his life. He studied this fine Italian art and he has mastered this mouth-watering dessert.
Ivan believes what makes his frozen treat so wonderful is he uses fresh ingredients. “Nothing ever comes from a can,” he proudly boasts. If it is chocolate, then you will find him grating fresh chocolate. If it is pineapple basil, a flavor which makes the pallet jump up, down and sideways, then he has cut and cleaned fresh pineapple, and used fresh basil. “Fresh ingredients really makes a difference and I am probably obsessed with fresh ingredients.”
Ivan has a variety of flavors and I had the opportunity to go on a tasting spree. I would have to say my favorite was the pink Himalayan salt caramel. I could swear someone just put a caramel in my mouth only this was velvet and melted in my mouth. He has carrot flavor, pink grapefruit, pear, saffron, anise, pistachio, cream, custard, rose, cinnamon, which mixed with chocolate is wonderful. Speaking of chocolate he has chocolate chip, chocolate mint and spicy chocolate, which is sinfully good with a dark sweet chocolate and then as you swallow that spice hits the back of your throat slightly burning and wanting more. His flavors are forever changing, again made with all fresh hand cut and grated ingredients and no preservatives.
Ivan, who came from Italy to Tucson in July of 2010, helped opened this wonderful store in September of 2010. He said he always wanted his own business and the opportunity to come to Tucson just happened so he and his wife moved here. Allegro, which is right on Campbell and 6th by the University, is a great location, not only does he get the U of A students and the Sam Hughes neighborhood, he gets everyone driving down Campbell.
Out of all the places I have written about Allegro is one of my favorites because it isn’t just about the food, but the craftsmanship that goes with it. I watched Ivan for a while as he served gelato to people and saw his passion as he told how each flavor is made, and then he dished it with pure pride. I asked one of his customers what she thought and all she could say was “amazing”.
So Tucson Biz Beat salutes Allegro and the fine artist Ivan who makes sure that Tucson is receiving the freshest and best tasting gelato ever.