Helados Jauja

254 Lygon St, Carlton 3053
Date visited: 5th July 2013

Ice cream in the middle of winter?

Yes, please.  There's a Patagonian handmade ice cream shop in the midst of Italian gelato stores in Lygon St bravely and proudly flaunting its fares.  Yes, it's none other than Helados Jauja.

It was another gloomy, overcast Melbourne afternoon on the brink of drizzling but undeterred, MerlinFan and I hauled ourselves over to Carlton for our helados fix.  As expected, it was pretty quiet outside the ice cream store LOL - I guess no one else in their right minds were up for ice cream in this weather.  Oh well, jolly good, I say.

They make ice creams and sorbets and everything is made with natural ingredients.  As always, the hardest bit at an ice cream store is choosing a flavour (or two, or three).  You can sample a couple of flavours too, so I tried the Apple Crumble.  It was sweet and cinnamonny with actual pieces of apple, brown sugar and crumble it in.  Texture-wise, it was brilliant.

I really had a tough time deciding between the Salted caramel, Dulce de leche (Argentinean caramel) with chocolate chips, and the Caramel with walnuts.  But let's face it, I couldn't get past the salted caramel once the seed of that thought had been planted, so that's what I had.

Salted caramel $5.30
The Salted Caramel was beautiful.  Creamy, silky smooth and not overly sweet, but with a lovely balance of rich caramel and salt.  However, after sampling the texture of the Apple crumble, MerlinFan and I both wished there was some texture in the Salted Caramel to give it that extra punch.  Maybe having it in a cone would fix that next time.

MerlinFan loves rosewater, so she had the Rosewater with pistachio.

Rosewater with pistachio $5.30
The rosewater flavour ran through the silky ice cream and reminded us a lot of homemade frozen rosewater lollies we used to have as kids =D  The nostalgia.  And there was also the crunch of the roasted pistachios to make things a little more exciting.

Looking at their evilly tempting Facebook page, they have amazing sounding flavours like soursop, white chocolate and raspberries, salted chocolate, peanut butter blast, goats cheese with walnuts and cranberries (what the... but does makes me wonder), The Forest, chocolate with banana and chocolate chips to name a few... definitely worth a second visit, perhaps when the weather picks up.

A few people have commented about how expensive these little cups/ cones of helados are.  To me, it's no different from ice creameries everywhere - I've tended to avoid these places over the years due to the skyrocketing prices, and more and more I keep thinking how overpriced ice cream has become.  

Verdict?  Ice cream cones nowadays are a rare treat, a once in a while indulgence - definitely not someplace I'd stop by to pick up dessert everyday after work.  What can I say, delicious ice cream now and then shouldn't be a crime.

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