I’ll admit it: When I first heard about Barry Schenker’s new nondairy, nut-based vegan ice cream, I rolled my eyes. I mean, how good could ice cream be without the cream?
Pretty good, actually. The first pure, clean, and yes, creamy, taste of the recently released Genuto “gelato” caused my eyes to roll again—this time with delight. It’s a reaction that the Berkeley-based Schenker has become familiar with—especially from the vegans and lactose avoiders who haven’t tasted the real thing in a long time.
“Ice cream is right up there with bacon as far as products that [vegans] miss,” he says. “So you’ll see these facial expressions from people who might not have tried real ice cream in 15 years. They don’t say much; they just get this glow.”
The secret, according to Schenker, is nuts. Rather than using soy, rice, or any of the other more common dairy substitutes, Genuto’s recipe is based solely on a probiotic nut blend that re-creates the creamy texture of gelato—without the gums, chemical stabilizers, or artificial ingredients so common on dessert ingredient labels.
You can try all six flavors (we especially loved the pistachio) at any Bay Area Whole Foods, where Genuto debuted in November.
For information, go to genuto.com.