Freeze Your Mind

Lei Chic You might just fro-up if you have one more mid-afternoon pick-me-up that requires you to weigh before paying (the cup of candy-topped frozen creaminess, that is).

How about a dessert that’s decadent without a pile of gummy bears and brownie bits on top?
Like a gelato. The Italian ice cream is smoother than its American cousin, served warmer (no ice cream migraines) and because it has less fat to coat your taste buds, the flavors come through much cleaner.

So here’s the scoop on where to get the cream of the crop.

East Meets West
With flavors like ume salty plum or yuzu, the European standard got a pan-Asian twist at A Latta Gelata. When Chris Murai closed her Waikiki storefront last year, it wasn’t curtains for the little gelato shop that could. Her fab flavors live on at a list of local spots: Whole Foods Kahala, Kalapawai Café, Azure and Pacific Place Tea Garden. A selection of flavors available at Whole Foods Kahala. Or, call directly to place an order for pickup at Menehune Mac Factory Outlet and Gift Center, 707 Waiakamilo Rd., Honolulu, 808.561.5545.

So Fresh and So Green
At Kauai's Papalani Gelato, owners Marck and Lauren Shipley are passionate about sustainability. Nearly all of the ingredients used in their heavenly treats, which are made from scratch, are natural, organic, and sourced fresh from local vendors. Favorites include the Palolo haupia, POG, and the decadent Hawaiian Punch–caramel gelato topped with mac nuts and cookie crunch. They even have gelato making classes so you can mix your own batch. Papalani Gelato, Poipu Shopping Village, 2360 Kiahuna Plantation Rd., 808.742.2663. Get it by the scoop at Merrimen's in Poipu and Oasis on the Beach in Kapa'a, and by the pint at Papaya's Natural Foods. Neighboring islanders can order by mail. For more info and a full list of flavors, click here.

Italian Stallion
It doesn’t get any more authentic than a real Italian whipping up one of his homeland’s finest creations. Established by Maurice Grasso in 1981, local favorite La Gelateria has over 200 flavors, including combos like white chocolate ginger and pear Chianti. La Gelateria, 819 Cedar Street, Honolulu,, 808.591.1133. Get a serving at at local spots like Chef Mavro, the Nordstrom gelato bar at Ala Moana Center, or the Royal Hawaiian Hotel (where the hibiscus with lime flavor is an exclusive).

A Family Affair
Passed down for three generations, the founders of Maui’s Ono Gelato are serious about their scoops. Opened in 2007 by Stefano and Melissa Mossi, and Valerie Kane, the shop is a perfect intersection of tradition and innovation. Tuck into a scoop of Lilikoi Quark, made with goat cheese from Surfing Goat Dairy. Or head to the Ali’i Kula Lavender Farm for their signature flavor–lavender, of course. Ono Gelato, 115D Hana Hwy., Paia, 808.579.9201, and at 815 Front St., Lahaina, 808.495.0203. New Kiehi location at the Azeka Shopping Center opening at the end of May. For more info, click here.