Gianduja (or gianduia) is chocolate made with 50% hazelnut paste – and is the inspiration behind Nutella. Even more inspired, Ben Van Leeuwen – of the Van Leeuwen ice cream truck that should soon appear on the streets of NYC – has tried to capture this flavor in an ice cream. We’ve got Leeuwen’s ice creams in pints in the store right here in Fort Greene so there’s no reason to chase down the truck with a fistful of dollars.
You will find no chunks or streaks of chocolate here. The flavor of Michel Cluizel chocolate and rich Piedmont hazelnuts are blended through, making a creamy flavor and texture that hints at its inspiration without being overpowering. We find Ben’s ice creams to be adult ice creams – not overly sweet but possessing that creamy, dense, rich, fresh goodness that appeals to the kid in all of us. As if it couldn’t get any better, the ingredients he uses are good for you: hormone-free milk from farmers he knows in Lewis County at the foot of the Adirondacks in New York, egg yolks and sugar. No stabilizers, no emulsifiers or preservatives.