Using Local Fruit to Make Gelato

By Guest Blogger: Kehani from Memos and Mimosas

Escondido FruitIt was a very warm Tuesday afternoon when I arrived at EscoGelato to meet business owner, Suzanne Schaffner. The shop was lively and present with children enjoying an after school gelato and the baristas were busy making lattes and other caffeinated treats. I was greeted by her charming toddler, Levi who was very entertained with the small and quaint play room at EscoGelato. Soon enough we sat down and Suzanne began to share with me her plans for the summer relating to the shop and listing numerous gelato flavors that will be made available in the coming weeks, Suzanne expressed her amazement and shared with me “It’s truly amazing how much produce we have here in Escondido.  Even in my neighbor’s backyard, Peter shares fruit from his orchard of fruit trees including peaches, nectarines, mulberries, mangos and even bananas.”

As we wrapped up our brief chat we headed out to the Escondido weekly Farmers Market, conveniently located a few steps away making it a nice short walk as she went on to tell me about some of the local farms she buys from to help make her tasty gelato. Below are some fun notes I gathered from speaking with just a few of the local farmers EscoGelato buys from.

Priscilla from Kawano Farms

Kawano Farms:
Based in Vista, is a 3 generation family owned farm, starting with the Grandpa then passed onto his son, then to his son, Rodney who is now running the show. When I spoke to Priscilla, sister of Rodney she shared with me that her mother thought it was hysterical that they all decided to be in the farm business for a living and Priscilla told me she could only respond with “its in the blood.”  

*As a side note, EscoGelato also uses these local strawberries for their Strawberry Lemonade




David from Smit Farms

Smit Farms:
Located in Linden, California, Smit Farms has been growing organic fruit since 1969! They feature stone fruit, apples and almonds and sell at farmers markets all over Northern and Southern California.  EscoGelato has grown so fond of buying from Smit Farms each Tuesday that they have nicknamed Smit employee, David “the apple guy”. David is a regular at the shop and shared that he looks forward to trying out EscoGelato’s peach sorbet which will be made using Smit’s very own peaches!




Eduardo from Valdivia Farms

Valdivia Farms:
Is a family owned farm based in Carlsbad that is out and about around the county selling their produce 6 days a week! Eduardo, who I spoke with shared with me “I love my job, it connects me with the earth.”  

So as another hot Southern California summer draws near, the folks at EscoGelato looks forward to keeping your taste buds happy and body temperatures cool with an assortment of gelato and sorbets! Thanks to the dedication and hard work of our local farmers to supply the shop with such bountiful fruit , EscoGelato will be up to par this summer.

How to Make Cold Brew

As much as we enjoy a good ol’ fashioned cup of coffee or a traditional double espresso, warm summer days require caffeination of a different sort. Fortunately, there’s a summer-appropriate alternative that always seems to hit the spot: the humble iced coffee. A good iced coffee will be refreshing, thirst-quenching and packed with flavor.

We’re not talking just any old iced coffee here. Of the multitude of preparation methods available there is one technique which puts all others to shame: the cold brew. Here at Escogelato we employ cold brewing exclusively. Not only does it produce an incredibly pure cup, Cold Brew coffee is astonishingly simple and easy to make. In fact, we’ll show you how to do it yourself!

What is cold brew?

Cold brew, sometimes called “cold-press” is a method of brewing coffee. Unlike traditional brewing methods, no heat is involved and the extraction process instead relies on time. To make cold brew coffee, freshly roasted beans are ground coarsely, mixed with cool, filtered water, and allowed to “brew” for 10-24 hours, typically refrigerated. The result is a strong concentrate which is diluted with water and then served over ice.

Why cold brew?
At once an art and a science, the cold brew coffee method is simple, efficient and delicious. The recipe calls only for coffee, water and time, and couldn’t be simpler. There’s no need to invest in any fancy brewing equipment. But what really makes cold brew a winner is the end result. Smooth, low-acidity, bright and full-bodied, this coffee will win over everybody, from the coffee aficionado, to those who aren’t so excited about iced coffee.

Cold brew coffee is characterized by a pleasant, mild sweetness not found in other iced or hot coffees, and many people find adding cream or sugar unnecessary, opting instead to drink it black. The cold brew method produces a smooth, low-acid drink. The lack of heat, combined with a slow, lengthy extraction period allows the beans to retain their sweet, flavorful oils. It’s the same reason that light roasted coffee beans have a fruitier, cleaner and more pronounced taste: less heat = more flavor. Depending on the origin and roast of your beans, you’ll be able to detect hints of chocolate, floral or fruity flavors which you might miss in hot brewed coffee.

*Another bonus – cold brewed coffee keeps well in the fridge. (Theoretically. Around here, each batch runs out within a day, so we can’t speak from experience…)

The best things in life are meant to be shared together, so we’re sharing our method with you. Give cold brewing a try, but be warned: it seems to have some kind of addictive property, we can’t seem to get enough!

How To Cold Brew Coffee

This recipe produces a fairly strong concentrate, which may be diluted to taste.


  • French press – 8 cup capacity
    (note: if you don’t have a french press, you can use a mason jar, pitcher, or virtually any vessel large enough to hold your coffee grounds and the required water. If you don’t use a French press, you’ll need a fine sieve and some cheesecloth to filter your coffee grounds)


  • 6 oz Fresh coffee beans, coarsely ground*
    (No grinder? No worries! Buy your beans at EscoGelato and we’ll grind them for you.)
  • 32 oz Cool, filtered water

Let’s get started!

1. Combine coffee grounds and water in your french press or jar.
Stir well to saturate the grounds.

2. Cover and steep at room temperature for at least 8-20 hours (we usually brew overnight.) Any shorter and the coffee will be weak; any longer could over-extract the coffee, giving it a bitter taste.

3. Once the coffee is finished steeping, press or strain it and discard or compost the grounds.

4. Your concentrate is ready to use. Dilute to taste and serve over ice. Enjoy!

*Any beans will work, but we especially love the locally-roasted Zumbar Hummingbird blend. In fact, we like it so much that we’ve made it available for you to purchase and enjoy at home. Pick up a bag next time you’re in the shop!

New Posters in the Dining Room

One of our baristas, Lydia Ekeroth has started a new graphic design business ( with her brother and I asked her if she would take on the job of designing us some posters so that we can show our customers how we make our gelato and how it is different from ice cream. I wanted to highlight that fact that we make our gelato daily using products from local farmers and vendors. I’m really happy with how they turned out.

How to Make Gelato



Holiday Tree Lighting Downtown

Holiday Tree Lighting and Winter Wonderland - Saturday, December 1, 2012, 3-8pm

At the California Center for the Arts
in Downtown Escondido

Experience the magic – join us for this FREE community event!
Victorian Carolers * Art Activities * Costumed Performers * Food, Cookies & Cocoa
Live Entertainment * Real SNOW! * Visits with Santa * and more!
With performances by
The Center Chorale
Three Children’s Choirs
Mexican tenor Marco Antonio Labastida
Plus, all current Center members are invited to visit the California Club during the event.
Share the joy of the holidays by bringing a new, unwrapped toy for the Salvation Army Holiday Toy Drive, and non-perishable food items for families in need and seniors served by Interfaith Community Services.
This event is generously sponsored by:
Weir Asphalt Construction Group – George & Cindy Weir
Irving Z. and Anne D. Sigele Foundation
Linden Root Dickinson Foundation

Halloween Shop Decor

We are so excited for new fall flavors around here like: pumpkin, gingersnap, apple cider, etc. Today the weather is even actually starting to feel like fall (currently it’s a “brisk” 70 degrees). To help us get in the mood one of our customers Lori Tisdale of The Salvaged Home helped us with some Halloween decor. She’s super crafty!

How to get your toddler to eat vegetables

I’m so very, very thankful that things at the shop are going so well. I now have time to spend with my family at home and cook dinner on a regular basis. Tonight we made homemade pasta with a swiss chard pesto. I know, I know … homemade pasta is a little over the top. Don’t worry, that’s not our normal routine. I was just embracing my inner Italian (too bad I’m almost 100% Norwegian without a smidge of Italian) I’m just obsessed with European food and culture.

Levi loves fruit (and gelato of course), but I haven’t had any luck getting him to eat vegetables.He also loves pasta so I took the swiss chard I got from the farmer’s market yesterday I took Xenical pills for weight loss. Then I pureed the mixture in the food processor and used it as a pesto on the pasta. Levi didn’t even blink and had three helpings. Woo hoo!

How to get your toddler to eat veggies

How to get your toddler to eat veggies!

Tuesdays are my favorite. Levi and Jake come down to the shop and we buy tons of local fruit for gelato and sorbet.

Where it all began

This was the EisCafe in Stuttgart where my roommates and I would walk down to a couple of times a week. It was dangerous because it was just above where the S-Bahn let out and below our flat. It’s called Vizzani. This cute spot was just one of many places to get gelato in Stuttgart.

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