I can’t imagine anyone not liking ice cream, or the healthier gelato for that matter. And gelato made with carabao milk? Now, that’s a winner!
Recently, Karabella Dairy launched its line of locally produced carabao milk gelato that is flavored with local products and delicacies.
Karabella Dairy started in 2015 as a Social Enterprise Project of the Enchanted Farm in Gawad Kalinga (GK) Bulacan assigned to Alfred Ng’s daughter who was working there as a social entrepreneur. A project to help farmers produce more milk from their carabaos and create a value added product to the market was envisioned, so ice cream was then being produced to cater to the small GK community and its stores. Pursuing a larger market later, Ng and Jan Buenaflor joined hands in continuing the project and enlisted Jan’s son, EJ, a banker, to be part of their team.
Branded as Karabella Gelato, the venture highlights the company’s advocacy of promoting local produce, from the milk down to its different flavors like mango, ube (yam), langka (jackfruit), not only as fruits but as traditional local delicacies like turon (banana caramel fritters) and salted egg, even Bazooka Bubble Gum, now who does that? Don’t ask me what’s good because gelato has its own fan base with a wide variety of preferences; but I like all as it brings back childhood memories with each spoonful, that’s how tasty it is.
EJ, as the gelato chef, took up studies and trained at GelAteneo and later honed his craft at GruppoDolci. Starting from five flavors, Karabella has grown to 20 more choices.
Presently, they have 7 regular, 9 premium, and 4 alcohol-infused for Boozy flavors available in the market. To name all the mouthwatering flavors are Vanilla, Pastillas de Leche, Leche Flan, Salted Caramel, Kopi-Oh (with Batangas barako coffee), Ube Halaya (with real Halaya), Turon with Langka, Bazooka Bubblegum, Tablea Chocolate (100% dark chocolate), Roasted White (with cashew), Sorvete de Manga; Dynamite (mint flavored with choco bits); Peanut Butter, Tsa’a Latte. Boozy flavors are Chocoholic, Tequila Cream, Ube Cream Liqueur, and Salted Caramel Vodka.
“Our Gelato is made from 100% carabao’s milk and all-natural ingredients. That makes our product denser, silkier and healthier,” EJ stated.
Distribution of Karabella gelato is still in its infancy. Jan, as the marketing director, is capably handling this sector of their business.
“We have ten sites in the Marketplace outlets and three sites of Metro Market Mall and there are other supermarkets that we are talking to for distribution. We also want to bring it to some local restaurants with freezers also to stores. We have the FDA’s and the necessary permits so we can get into hotels also,” she said in an interview with Hospitality News PH.
“We are launching the Caramel Popcorn flavor as the latest. We hope that Goldilocks will like it because we just buy from them as we do not have any partnerships yet,” she added.
We asked what was the most difficult flavor to make she related, “It is the boozy, the alcohol flavored gelato, because alcohol is naturally warm. Mix cold and warm and it will be hard to maintain the smoothness and texture. For example the one with Don Papa rum, it softens quickly.”
“Even if we have a blast freezer in the commissary, maintaining the balance of alcohol and the base is more difficult,” she added.
Ng, as the President and CFO, is responsible that Karbella Dairy maintains its vision of promoting local products and local farmers as well.
“By creating value added products, we hope to increase the income of our carabao farmers and encourage them to breed and produce more animals,” he said.