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Muà Gelatieri d'Italia

A sweet find in the unlikeliest of places

by Paolo Ferrarini in Food + Drink on 05 July 2012

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On a recent trip to Istanbul we got to experience that magic mixture of Europe and Asia—the harmonic balance of historic venues and international retail chains, the reflections of lights on tiles and the Bosphorus, the best aubergines, the young crowd on Istiklal Avenue. We did not necessarily expect to find good ice cream, so were pleasantly surprised to stumble upon Muà Gelatieri d'Italia.

Muà Gelatieri d'Italia is a recently launched small chain of Italian gelato shops. The first to open is located by the sea in the hip Yeniköy neighborhood. The design of the interior is based on the playful contrast of white and pink colors, with the omnipresent logo of a shocking pink mouth miming the kiss that inspires the onomatopoeic "muà" name. During the warm season, clients can also enjoy a nice outdoor space.

Florentine entrepreneur Elena Pallotta decided to quit a well-established real estate career in order to pursue her ice cream dream. "After finding a group of investors," Pallotta tells CH, "I left my beautiful house in Tuscany, moved to Turkey and started from scratch. At the beginning I had to take care of every aspect, from construction details to the search for the perfect ingredients."

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Every flavor is naturally prepared in the adjacent laboratory with strictly seasonal ingredients and without preservatives or chemicals. Some of our favorites include hazelnut (made with the Turkish staple), chocolate (which comes in two choices, with or without milk), locally-sourced banana and kaymak, a Turkish version of clotted cream. Passing on Turkish dondurma—a kind of gummy ice cream—the young gelateria is already being hailed as the best frozen treat in town. In addition to gelato, Muà offers coffee and cold desserts, freshly made from recipes merging Italian tradition with Turkish taste.

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The second store is located in the Göktürk Merkez, while a third will be opened on the 4 July 2012 in the trendy neighborhood of Cihangir.

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