Food

Crem dela Crem: Barranco's newest ice cream parlor

Connie Lee

As if Lima’s bohemian district wasn’t cool enough already, an ice cream parlor with a park view has opened to satisfy your sweet tooth.

With summer just around the corner in Lima, Crem dela Crem gelato and dessert shop in Barranco popped onto the cool dessert scene just in time.

The gelateria occupies the incredibly coveted spot just next to the old library in Barranco district’s Plaza de Armas, making it easy to access anytime. And if the vanilla-colored facade and smooth sounding name don’t already call your attention, the lines out the door (especially on weekends) will definitely make you want to taste what all the commotion is about.

cream
(Photo: Living in Peru/Erick Andia)

Owners and good friends Matthew, Patty, and David opened Crem dela Crem in early October and it was an immediate hit for all audiences, much to their surprise. Initially, they were hoping to call 50 gelato sales per day a success. Yet on their first weekend, and almost consistently since then, they sold out of every flavor! As only the second fine gelato shop in the district, they soon learned that Limeños simply can’t get enough of these “healthier” cold dessert options which offer less fat than traditional ice cream. Today, it is best to go before 4 p.m. on weekends, especially Sundays, otherwise you risk the stock running out.

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“Anyone can make gelato, it’s not that hard,” Matthew told us on our visit. “But we [the owners] have different training backgrounds and different tastes [which make us stand out].”

For the last 20 years, Matthew, whose American father came to Peru as a youngster to serve in the Peace Corps and has never gone back to live in the USA, had been working in the hospitality sector. He studied to be a chef at Lima’s Cordon Bleu culinary and hospitality university; then he worked behind the scenes in many top hotels such as the Ritz Carlton in South Beach, Florida. However, the industry can often demand long hours and stressful situations so he dreamt of sweeter options while saving up money for his own project.

cream
(Photo: Living in Peru/Erick Andia)

As a passionate chef, Matthew goes into Crem dela Crem early every morning to prepare that day’s batches of gelato flavors based on availability of the freshest fruits and other ingredients. He doesn’t plan to let his shop run on “autopilot” anytime soon since he loves being involved with every step of the creation process.

With every bite of his gelato, it was easy for the Living in Peru team to taste the love he put into his products. The fior de latte flavor which is the simplest option at the base of all the other options had a fresh and light zing without leaving too much sugar on the tongue. On the other hand, the chocolate scoop was as rich as could be, made with Peruvian chocolate of course.

food
(Photo: Living in Peru/Erick Andia)

We also had to try the gianduia flavor, much like chocolate hazelnut, as that is a classic Italian gelato flavor. And boy was it pure indulgence in every spoonful!

The special touch Matthew is looking to perfect is the combination of flavors in a single scoop. For example, the granadilla passionfruit and mandarin sorbet is a popular duo he’s created, but some other ones haven’t held up as strongly for one reason or another. He certainly has a hard job ahead of him to continue creating and tasting new combinations until reaching the perfect fusions!

And if you happen to have a friend in your group who isn’t a big fan of cold desserts, do also try the pastries made by Patty who worked for many years alongside master baking artist Astrid at Astrid y Gaston restaurant among others. The lemon pie (pie de limon) was the ideal balance of softness and left us dreaming of more merengue without the usual sour aftertaste due to use of cheaper sugars.

Crem de la Crem
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109 Parque Muunicipal, Barranco
Single scoops: S/. 7
Double scoops: S/. 9(choose 2 flavors with either option)
Cakes, pastries, milkshakes, and top choice Peruvian coffee also available.

This article was written by Connie Lee, owner and operator of Lima te Llena. Lima te Llena offers expertly led food and chicha art tours and workshops that let you see and experience Lima, Peru in authentic and alternative ways. To book your Lima food or art tour, visit the Lima te Llena website or email them at experience@limatellena.com.

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