The Boss, $8, from Woofy’s
Okay, I must admit: I’m not much of a festival goer. I try my best to stay indoors for as much as possible, and the only reason I’d ever head outdoors is when I have to go somewhere, or where there’s food.
Which is why I was drawn to Festival Village in Hyde Park, as part of Sydney Festival 2014. Gelato Messina serving up carnival themed wacky treats you say? I’m there.
Or any reason to get a hot dog.
Woofy’s Gourmet Sausage Sizzle had a stall there selling their gourmet hotdogs. The idea is that the base sausage is the same – Angus Beef – and you get to choose your toppings. The hotdog was satisfying and filling enough, but the two guys who were manning the stall over the late lunch period didn’t look particularly happy to be there. So, for $8 a pop, I could take it or leave it.
But now, for the pièce de résistance.
For weeks now I’ve been
taunted tempted by my friends’ posts about Gelato Messina‘s incredibly creative and intriguing carnival sweet treats. Pluto pup made with ice cream and pancake batter? Red skin and banana flavoured gelato lollipop? Duck fat caramel fudge on a caramel cheesecake gelato? BACON MARSHMALLOWS??!!
So my dining partner was gallantly dragged into ordering five desserts to share with me. The Messinaweiner was a hot (no pun intended!) favourite, with it’s pancake batter coated maple syrup gelato. The pancake batter added a kind of moreishness to it, but to be really honest I couldn’t really tell that the gelato was maple syrup and the sauce was plum-flavoured. It made for a delicious bite, but I was envisioning slightly more discernible flavours in my head. The Eyescream Lollipop was the most recognisable, and every bite screamed out Redskins to me. The pop rocks weren’t quite popping, but the bites were still delicious and easy to finish. I wanted the So Wrong, It’s Right to be right so badly, but unfortunately it didn’t quite hit the mark. Once again I couldn’t really discern all the flavours that were meant to be there – duck fat caramel, bacon marshmallow etc – but it really could be that my tastebuds were still rioting in protest to all the sugar. The Gelatofee Apples were a really creative take on traditional toffee apples, and the refreshing green apple gelato providing great balance to the creamy milk chocolate. The surprise gelato for me came in the form of the Samurai Fairy Balls, which had a yuzu popsicle hidden underneath a mound of pink fairy floss. I do wish there was a way to incorporate all of it in a single bite – we ate through most of the fairy floss before we got to the yuzu sorbet, which was foot stompingly tart and actually needed a bit of the sugar to temper it – but I really did enjoy the citrus kick of the yuzu sorbet.
In all, Gelato Messina took us on a crazy sugar-fueled roller coaster ride that left us in a sugar coma afterward. Two lessons to learn: Don’t order 5 frozen treats all at once to finish on a balmy warm night, and maybe it’s a good idea to space out that much sugar over a longer time frame.
If you’d like to grab your Gelato Messina fix, or enjoy the rest of the attractions at Sydney Festival 2014, it will be on till the 26th, so head on down to Hyde Park after 4:30pm, except for Mondays.