Category Archives: Gelato Culture

GIO Gelati and the Super Bowl

It’s time to prepare for the Super Bowl! Even if you’re not into sports, you’ll have to stick around for the snacks and good company. You’ll want to have a nice array of options to satisfy your cravings this year and that’s where we step in. Order an array of frozen goodies from us and have them ready for the big day.

Whether you’re hosting a Super Bowl party at your place or you’re tasked with bringing the sweets, gelato is the answer! You can pre-order and keep it in the freezer for after all those salty snacks. We promise, our gelato will have everyone asking for another scoop.

With a wide array of flavors, we’ve got all our bases covered. If you’re vegan, check out our fruity flavors. Lactose intolerant? Milk alternatives such as oat milk and coconut milk mean you don’t have to miss out on the good stuff. Nut-free, gluten-free and egg-free options are all available. Check out our flavors here or ask us!

Super Bowl Deals

Now if you buy more than 3 pints, get one set of bonbons for free with your order. And if you subscribe to GIO Club before the 10th of February, you get one extra pint on the house!

Delivery Options

Get your Super Bowl gelato using one of these five platforms: Grubhub, Doordash, Postmates, Uber Eats, Caviar. Order on our online store or at one of our locations in San Francisco and San Ramon.

GIO Club

GIO Club is the first and only subscription service in the Bay Area delivering artisanal Italian gelato. Every single pint of gelato is locally produced in San Francisco using the best local seasonal ingredients to create a healthy and enjoyable dessert that is perfect for kids, adults, and the elderly.

Subscribers to the new program will receive regular delivery of Italian gelato to their homes or places of work with the flexibility to customize flavor, quantity and frequency.

GIO Gelati has been making authentic Italian gelato in San Francisco since 2018 and quickly become the most loved gelato place in the Bay Area.
GIO Gelati is now offering a new gelato delivery service for gelato lovers. The GIO Club program offers regular delivery of delicious Italian gelato at your door every 2 or 4 weeks. It’s not ice cream, it’s gelato!

GIO Gelati’s 3rd Anniversary!

From humble beginnings, GIO Gelati is excited to announce it’s 3rd anniversary. It’s been a wild first couple of years and here’s to many more!

GIO Gelati’s History

We began this adventure with the enthusiasm of kids.

Three years ago, we opened with the idea of bringing in artisanal expertise to make Italian gelato. California gave us what we hoped for and more. It has shown us all its natural power, offering ingredients that create gelato at a higher quality. This extraordinary pairing has allowed us to take gelato to the next level.

We began our adventure in San Francisco; Cow Hallow to be exact. The community welcomed us with enthusiasm and gave us the motivation to keep growing. Eventually we were able to open another store in San Ramon. An East Bay location we chose because of the lovely City Center Bishop Ranch.

In 2020, to partially compensate for the impact of COVID-19, we launched the GIO Membership program. This allowed us to deliver in the entire Bay Area and let us bring the joy of gelato to our customers.

The GIO brand was born from a love of the United States and a passion for gelato. The goal has always been simple: to put gelato in your hands and a smile on your face.

What does GIO stand for?

GIO stands for “Gelato Italiano Originale” and that’s just what we serve. Each flavor is crafted from scratch with all-natural, farm fresh ingredients and a passion for perfection.

Celebrate this special day with us!

We want to celebrate by thanking our fans with free gelato in our stores today from 12pm to 3pm. And any orders on the website will include a set of 6 bon bons for free!

GIO Gelati has been making authentic Italian gelato in San Francisco since 2018 and quickly become the most loved gelato place in the Bay Area.
GIO Gelati is now offering a new gelato delivery service for gelato lovers. The GIO Club program offers regular delivery of delicious Italian gelato at your door every 2 or 4 weeks. It’s not ice cream, it’s gelato!

January Flavor: Tangerine

As you know, it’s Tangerine season! This means that we will be carrying this precious lil cutie as a flavor. We here at GIO love to follow along with mother nature’s natural schedule because it brings out the best in the produce. This January we focus our attention on Tangerines. Let us fill you in on the details!

Tangerine Health Benefits

In addition to being packed with vitamin C, tangerines are a good source of dietary fiber. They also have a moderate amount of vitamin A, with 100 grams of tangerine providing you with approximately 14% of your daily recommended vitamin A intake.

Tangerines are also a minor source of:

  • Thiamin.
  • Vitamin B6.
  • Copper.
  • Potassium.
  • Pantothenic acid (vitamin B5)

If you love a classic but creamy fruit flavor then you’ll love this Tangerine gelato.

This gelato is made up of only three ingredients: tangerines, organic cane sugar, and water. It is vegan, dairy-free, gluten-free, nut-free, and egg-free.

Where to try this flavor

Stop by for a cup or cone to keep your immune system healthy this winter season. 

You can find us at either of our locations in San Francisco or San Ramon as well as on most delivery apps. We hope to see you soon!

January Flavor: Sachertorte

This month, enjoy our brand new flavor Sachertorte. Sachertorte is a chocolate cake of Austrian origin. Invented in 1832 by Franz Sacher, a 16 year old apprentice pastry chef and chocolate lover.

Inspired by the winter cakes that brighten our tables this season, I wanted to make this flavor as an ode to them. Deep notes of dark chocolate with a melody of soft ganache and apricot jam made from strictly organic ingredients produce a song that makes the heart and tastebuds soar.

What’s the story?

Well… young Franz had to replace a sick chef and was in charge of preparing dessert for Prince Von Mitternich Winnesburg. After thinking for a long time, he decided to combine simple and traditional elements such as chocolate and jam to create his delicate masterpiece. It ended up being a great success and it’s obvious why.

Sachertorte still holds our hearts today. Even the hotel the dinner had been held in is now a “sacred” temple for pastries. Considered one of the most famous chocolate cakes of all-time, this story marks an important moment in Austrian history.

A chocolate sponge cake layered and covered in apricot jam? Count me in!

Come try it!

This creamy combination of chocolate and apricot is a match made in gelato heaven.  Stop by one of our shops for a cup or cone.

January Flavor: Blood Orange

One of our new flavors this January is Blood Orange. A rich and glorious new addition to the shop and to the palate. Blood Oranges are in season from winter to early spring. This makes it the perfect time to reintroduce this exotic flavor to the tastebuds.

About this Flavor

First cultivated in Italy, the blood orange has spread throughout the world and with it a grand array of recipes. It’s intense red color gives the illusion of heat but translates into an unaltered elegant flavor true to form. We are proud to share this fruit in gelato form, in our very own Italian way. However, these beauties give so much more than just a wonderful look into history. Let’s look at the health benefits!

Blood Orange Health Benefits

Antioxidants, minerals, and other nutrients in blood oranges provide many health benefits. Vitamin C helps the body heal and is also an important vitamin for improving your iron absorption.

Blood oranges are a great source of:

Get your dose of vitamins and minerals this January with a spoonful of gelato!

This gelato is comprised of only three ingredients: blood oranges, organic cane sugar, and water. It is vegan, dairy-free, gluten-free, nut-free, and egg-free.

Our shops

Visit us on site at either one of our San Francisco or San Ramon locations. Or get your gelato delivered!

Join GIO Club

Want to get gelato delivered to your door every two weeks? Don’t worry, we’ll tell you how. Sign up to our gelato club and rest easy!

January Flavor: Cremino al Caffè

This month we are combining two of our favorites into one. Gianduia and Italian Espresso gelato bring out the best in the classics.

Hazelnuts and coffee have always been a fantastic combination, the union of these flavors and aromas are typical of the culture of Italian chocolates.

What is Gianduia?

Gianduia is a sweet hazelnut chocolate spread invented in Turin during Napoleon‘s regency (1799–1814). You could say this delicious concoction was made out of necessity.

In 1806, a chocolatier used hazelnuts to extend his chocolate supply when there was a strain on cocoa supplies. By mixing the little chocolate he had with hazelnuts from the Langhe hills south of Turin, he invented Gianduia.

Planning for battle? Napoleon’s your man. Planning for breakfast? Not so much.

I’m sure Napoleon didn’t complain though.

You have definitely heard of Nutella, Gianduia’s more commercial relative. They can both be used as a spread and/or to pair with fresh fruit.


Do we even need to mention this iconic flavor? Italians swear by two things: their morning espresso and of course gelato.

Espresso is the result of a long tradition of Italian origin. The secret to a creamy and condensed coffee is all about forcing a small amount of nearly boiling water through finely-ground coffee beans. This very strong “shot” of caffeine is so addicting that once you’ve tried it you can’t go back.

Now imagine all of this mixed into creamy perfection! A combination of coffee, hazelnuts and chocolate is something you don’t want to miss!

Come experience our new gelato flavors

By combining classic Italian recipes with California’s fresh produce we create a healthy and colorful palette of gelato options. 

Come to GIO Gelati for these wonderful new flavors:

  • Tangerine: a delicate and creamy Vitamin C option
  • Blood Orange: a rich and sweet fruity flavor full of antioxidants
  • Sachertorte: Delicious chocolate cake with hints of apricot
  • Cremino al Caffè: a creamy mix of Gianduia and Espresso

We look forward to serving you!

Panettone for the Holidays

Have you pre-ordered your gelato filled Panettone for the holidays yet? If not, we’ve got you covered. Don’t know what it is? Let us tell you. 

What is Panettone?

Panettone is a type of sweet bread usually prepared and enjoyed for Christmas and New Year’s. Originally from Milan, the act of giving a Panettone is a gesture rich in history and tradition.

The process is similar to that of sourdough, taking several days to leaven and resulting in a wonderful, fluffy masterpiece. You can highlight the dinner table this holiday season with a classic panettone or one filled with gelato!

Gelato Filled Panettone

GIO’s Panettone for the holidays comes layered with vanilla orange almond, chocolate and espresso gelato and topped with Chantilly cream. We couldn’t have asked for a more perfect combination. Want to custom order your Panettone with the flavors you love? Just let us know!

Make sure to pre-order now so you have it by Christmas/New Year’s.

How to Prepare Your Panettone

Once you’re ready to eat your Classic Panettone unwrap it and stick it in the oven for 5 minutes at 350°F. You can then slice your panettone (like you would a cake) and share it.

If you have a Gelato-Filled Panettone, preheat the oven to 350°F and then turn it off and place the Panettone inside for 2-3 minutes. We find the mix of hot and cold a delight to the senses! This step is entirely optional but we highly recommend it if you like something on the warmer side. Slice it and serve it to your loved ones.

Seasonal Flavors

Don’t forget to try our seasonal flavors while you still can!

Salted Caramel – A mix of caramel and fleur de sel French sea salt

Christmas Cream – Custard flavor crema gelato made the Italian way and topped with panettone pieces

Tangerine – A refreshing and tangy boost of Vitamin C

Sour Cherry – Italian cherries paired with creamy zabaione gelato

Where to Order Your Panettone

Order now on our online store or stop by our shops. We have a wonderful selection of seasonal items and a small selection of quality Italian products to share with you.

We look forward to seeing you!

GIO Gelati has been making authentic Italian gelato in San Francisco since 2018 and quickly become the most loved gelato place in the Bay Area.
GIO Gelati is now offering a new gelato delivery service for gelato lovers. The GIO Club program offers regular delivery of delicious Italian gelato at your door every 2 or 4 weeks. It’s not ice cream, it’s gelato!

Milkshakes AKA Frappè: The Magic of Mixing Gelato and Milk

Milkshakes are classic drinks made with gelato and ice cold milk. They were invented in the US, but it’s the Italian gelato that makes them memorable. Milkshakes, aka frappè, are easy to make, and delicious to drink.

A popular trio of milkshakes created with the the best flavors from GIO Gelati.

“You don’t need to go to heaven to find out what a milkshake is like, because we bring heaven to you in our milkshakes.” ― Anthony T. Hincks

What’s the history of gelato milkshakes?

Gelato milkshakes, called frappè in Italian, are a drink that was born in the 1800s. The original milkshake was a healthy and robust drink with whiskey and eggnog as the base ingredients. At the time, pharmacies were selling milkshakes as a tonic.

Throughout time, syrups and gelato were added to the recipe and milkshakes slowly changed to become the popular creamy drink we now know and love.

Get the the best gelato flavors for a perfect milkshake

Still to this day, the most popular flavors for a milkshake are the gelato classics: chocolate, vanilla, strawberry, and banana gelato. You will always find those flavors in our stores in San Francisco and San Ramon. You can also get them at home thanks to our GIO Club gelato subscription and our online store. Nevertheless, we always suggest to try new, more particular combinations with our ever-changing selection of gelato flavors. What about a milkshake made with White-Mint-Chip or Bacio, or our Gianduja chocolate chip inspired by the famous “Bacio Perugina?”

Making gelato milkshake the old fashioned way

Nowadays, we all have a modern mixer but it’s fascinating to look at the first mixers used to make milkshakes. These old and heavy machines did not run on electricity but rather on human strength.

Here’s a look at an approved invention from the United States Patent Office in 1889.

The inventors, Francis H. Shepherd and John W. Meyer stated: “Our invention relates to improvements in machines for mixing beverages—such as “milk-shakes,” “shaker-lemonades,” “mint juleps,’ etc.” They’re as passionate about milkshakes as we are, if not more!

How to make milkshakes at home

Let’s start with a banana milkshake, a simple flavor everybody loves. Preparing the milkshake is a reasonably straightforward process.

  1. Start by pouring a glass of cold milk into your mixer.
  2. Add two medium scoops of banana gelato, and a teaspoon of cardamom or cinnamon.
  3. Mix until the texture becomes creamy and homogenous.
  4. Then pour your milkshake into a cold glass.
  5. Lastly, add a few slices of banana for texture and a bit of cocoa powder on top.

This simple recipe makes for a perfectly healthy but sweet snack for both kids and adults. Of course, you can have fun with the recipe by mixing and matching your favorite gelato flavors.

A soda jerk throws a scoop of ice cream into a malt cup to prepare a milkshake (The Library of Congress).

Your next milkshake experiment?

Are you ready to go on a culinary adventure? If you are a coffee lover, we have a suggestion for a tasty caffeinated milkshake. Mix a scoop of stracciatella gelato and one of hazelnut with a glass of hazelnut milk. Add two espresso shots and you have a fantastic breakfast alternative. Healthy, nutritious and caffeinated!

Milkshakes in American pop culture

Milkshakes are now part of American pop culture and have appeared in countless movies. One the most famous milkshake scenes is in Quentin Tarantino’s “Pulp Fiction” with John Travolta and Uma Thurman.

Another famous milkshake scene is in the famous movie “Pee-wee’s Big Holiday” released in 2016 by Netflix.

How not to make a milkshake, according to Pee-Wee “Big Holiday.”
How to make an Affogato al caffe'

Learn About Gelato Toppings and How to Make Affogato al Caffè

Let’s start with GIO Toppings, so you don’t forget to garnish and personalize your gelato with tasty toppings! Let’s take a look at how and when to use GIO Toppings.

Curious about Gelato Toppings?

GIO Gelati is excited to offer you a series of delicious and high quality Italian gelato toppings to experiment with.

Combining Chocolate gelato with GIO Toppings Orange Chocolate. You can buy all GIO Toppings at our stores in San Francisco and San ramon. GIO Club members can order it from the GIO Club exclusive store.
Combining Chocolate gelato with GIO Toppings Orange Chocolate. You can buy all GIO Toppings at our stores in San Francisco and San ramon. GIO Club members can order it from the GIO Club exclusive store.

The king of all garnishes, of course, is chocolate. We at GIO Gelati crafted a variety of chocolate toppings, in many shapes and styles, chosen specifically to embellish each gelato flavor.

Our topping recommendations are driven by the perfect combination of texture and flavor. Our dairy free coconut gelato, for instance, pairs perfectly with pearls of dark chocolate and chopped pistachios. The sweet tropical taste of coconut, the bitterness of the chocolate and the light saltiness of the pistachios surprise the palate with an explosion of flavor and variety of consistency.

Taste is a principal component of GIO Gelati’s product philosophy but fragrance, texture, and even color are also of great importance. This is why we have combined our dairy-free chocolate gelato with our pearls of dark chocolate infused with orange extract. Uniting orange and chocolate is part of the Italian tradition, and not without good reason.

All of our toppings can be indulged in directly from jar to cup in any of our GIO Gelati stores, or online through our GIO Club membership. Come and taste for yourself! 

What is Italian coppa gelato?

Here’s another great suggestion on how to enjoy gelato: Coppa Gelato. A traditional way of eating gelato in Italy is to have a coppa gelato. The expression translates as gelato sundae, but in Italy, behind this simple word “coppa” which literally means “cup”, there is a whole history of this dessert that goes back a long time. Flavors are not mixed randomly in a coppa, but each combination of flavors reflects a specific tradition.

As you probably already know, GIO Gelati loves traditions and loves to keep them alive and for this reason we recommend that you visit our store to learn what they are and how replicate them at home.

Cups of GIO Gelati decorated with GIO Topping: Pistachio and Orange Chocolates. You can buy allo GIO Toppings at our stores in San Francisco and San ramon. GIO Club members can order it from the GIO Club exclusive store.
Cups of GIO Gelati decorated with GIO Topping: Pistachio and Orange Chocolates. You can buy allo GIO Toppings at our stores in San Francisco and San ramon. GIO Club members can order it from the GIO Club exclusive store.

How to make Affogato al Caffè?

Affogato al Caffè is the quintessential Italian coppa gelato. What a delightful combination of flavor and texture! And what fun to make this dessert at home and share it with friends. Here is the affogato al caffè ricetta.

  1. Place in a coppa (a large cup), 1 scoop of hazelnut gelato, 1 scoop of stracciatella and 1 scoop of cappuccino or tiramisù gelato.
  2. Pour on top of the gelato 1 shot of hot Italian espresso.
  3. Garnish your affogato with GIO’s chocolate pearls and 1 small cookie.
  4. Serve the Affogato to your family and friends.
  5. Enjoy!
GIO Gelati: How to make Affogato al Caffè. Simple. Quick. Delicious.
How to make Affogato al Caffè. Simple. Quick. Delicious.

That was the affogato al caffè recipe. Easy, quick and delicious. A great example of a traditional italian coppa gelato!

Where to experience GIO Gelati flavors

Come visit our stores in San Francisco and San Ramon to learn more about the authentic Italian gelato culture and to learn how to share sweet moments with family and friends, or make your affogato at home by ordering from our exclusive GIO Club.

Pistacchio di Bronte, the best pistachio for the best gelato

Does the Seasonality of GIO Gelati’s Flavors Matter?

Seasonality is an important part of artisanal gelato. Many of the flavors we all enjoy at GIO Gelati are seasonal gelato flavors. We make every single scoop of gelato with only the best and freshest ingredients. Therefore our production must be in sync with the availability of fruits, nuts, and any other ingredients. Only fresh seasonal ingredients contributes to the flavor, smell, texture, and color of our gelato. Sometimes, a flavor’s ingredient is not available or the quality is not up to our high standards. In that case, we simply stop making that flavor. The flavor will come back to our store only when the missing ingredient becomes available again. The seasonality of many of our gelato flavors is the final proof that we only use natural and fresh ingredients. By the way, you should be very concerned about gelato places offering seasonal flavors all year round.

Let’s see a few examples of seasonal flavors, like seasonal fruit gelato.

Pistachio: how a Sicilian nut became one of our most popular gelato flavors

Pistachios are high quality nuts, but of even higher quality are the pistachio seeds.
Pistachio plants originated in Persia; they were first cultivated in the Fertile Crescent by ancient Hebrew civilizations and they were considered very precious fruits.

The pistachio plant was imported into Sicily by Arab populations. The cultivation became particularly spread in the area of the Etna volcano. The Etna volcano provides a very fertile soil rich in nutrients from the lava giving Sicilian pistachios a unique taste and aroma. The quality of those pistachios are unlike any other variety in the world. It’s the result of the extraordinary combination of a particularly rich fruit and the special soil of the Etna region.

At GIO Gelati, we made the decision to use only Sicilian pistachios. We want our customers to experience the intense flavor of this special nut through our pistachio gelato.

Pistacchio di Bronte: the best pistachio for the best gelato

The variety of pistachio that we use is called Pistacchio di Bronte. This particularly precious fruit is harvested every two years only between the months of August and September. We chose this variety as our best ingredient. We find that Pistachio di Bronte delivers the most color and flavor of all varieties when used in gelato. Our guiding principle is to ensure that our customers will have a full sensory experience of the main ingredient when tasting our final product. The aroma, color and taste found in the raw pistachio nuts are brought to life in the pistachio gelato by GIO Gelati. The taste of our pistachio gelato, made only with Sicilian Bronte pistachios, is faithful to the mix of sweet and slightly salty aroma of the Bronte pistachios. The vivid green color is natural and it reminds us of the sea surrounding the wonderful island of Sicily.

Pistacchio di Bronte, Sicily, a fantastic ingredient for the best pistachio gelato. Image courtesy of Fabio Ingrosso.
Pistacchio di Bronte, Sicily, a fantastic ingredient for the best pistachio gelato. Image courtesy of Fabio Ingrosso.

At GIO Gelati we pride ourselves on respecting the seasonality of each ingredient. Every year, we wait for the newest harvest from Sicily to start making our special Pistachio di Bronte flavor.

Nocciole from Langhe: how Italian hazelnuts become hazelnut gelato

The same principle is true when we make the nocciola – hazelnut – gelato. The nuts that we use for this flavor come exclusively from the Langhe region in Piedmont, Italy. These wonderful, gently rounded fruits are worked into our gelato. We make hazelnut gelato only when we receive the freshly harvested and freshly roasted nuts. We know they will give our gelato an especially intense flavor.

Tonda gentile delle Langhe is the hazelnut variety from Piedmont we selected for our hazelnut gelato.
Tonda gentile delle Langhe is the hazelnut variety from Piedmont we selected for our hazelnut gelato.

California figs: how local figs help us recreate a California summer in a single scoop of gelato

At GIO Gelati we respect the cycle of nature. Soon we will be able to make fig gelato. For this flavor we are grateful to the rich soil and sun of California that produces this fruit. Figs make a very interesting gelato at GIO Gelati because we use the fruit in its entirety: pulp, seeds, and skin. The color of our gelato comes from the color of the skin of the fruit. The skin color ranges from pale to intense yellow. The texture of our fig gelato is enhanced by the crunchiness of the seeds. The flavor that comes from the combination of these elements is honey sweet. At GIO Gelati we always respect the source of our ingredients. We want our fig gelato to reproduce what we experience when we bite into a ripe fig. Although figs mark the beginning of the end of summer, we treasure them. The wonderful California summer climate transforms them into the intense combination of flavor and color we love.

California figs, the richest in flavor. Perfect ingredient for a fantastic gelato flavor.
California figs, the richest in flavor. Image by Gudlyf is licensed under CC BY 2.0

Where to try real Italian gelato

When you enter our stores and buy our gelato or when you receive our gelato at home via the GIO Club subscription, we want you to experience the best that nature has to offer through the purity of the ingredients we use. We believe that by respecting nature and its cycles and by producing our gelato in an artisanal way, we will give you a healthy gelato that will alway satisfy your desire for a special treat.