Koibito’s World of Gelato aims to bring a one of a kind dessert experience to Filipinos and support local farmers and fellow business owners
Gelato is a favorite of many not just for its taste but also for its richness. Using more milk and less cream, the Italian dessert is smoother, silkier, and denser compared to a regular ice cream, which makes eating it a truly delectable experience. While not many can travel to Europe to enjoy an authentic gelato, this homegrown food brand brings it to the country with a distinct Filipino touch.
Introducing Koibito’s World of Gelato, a Batangas-based food brand aiming to bring a one of a kind dessert experience to Filipinos while supporting local farmers and fellow business owners at the same time. The brand is led by owner and chief gelato architect Roger Monsale and his wife Angeli, hence the name “koibito,” a Japanese term which means “sweetheart” and “lover” in English.
In 2012, Roger decided to give up his dream of becoming a pilot and chose to prioritize his new marriage to Angeli instead. In return, Angeli gave Roger her full support when he decided to pursue a new passion—gelato—and turn it into a business.
“I went to Italy, because people were telling me that the gelato there is really different,” says Roger. “I said I would bring it back to the Philippines. I wanted to help local farmers because I know we’re rich in raw materials here. It’s just a matter of using them wisely.”
Bringing the dessert and its traditional Italian ways is important to Roger, especially the pasteurization aspect of it, which is an important and major step in the preparation of gelato.
“Pasteurization is the rapid heating of dairy products, up to 85°C,” Roger explains. “At 85°C, all the harmful bacteria are dead. Then we rapidly cool it down to 0 to 4°C.”
According to Roger, the cooled-down product—now a gelato—can last up to three to four days, considering all ingredients are fresh. If kept frozen, it can even last up to six months.
While they remain true to the process of creating the gelato, the couple didn’t shy away from making its flavors truly Filipino. This is where their partner farmers and entrepreneurs step in.
“I buy my milk on the day of or the day before we process our gelato,” says Roger, who feels lucky to be based in Batangas which produces its own fresh milk (Batangas Dairy Cooperative). They do use some imported ingredients from Italy and France (cream), but they choose to use local ingredients and work with local farmers and manufacturers, ones they met through events organized by the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI).
Aside from Batangas milk, other local ingredients of Koibito’s gelato are mulberries from Laguna, cashew butter from Rizal, Batangas tablea, and Batangas coffee or Kapeng Barako. Purchasing tablea locally makes the product less processed compared to commercial chocolate. This means that flavonoids, the anti-cancer antioxidants, are very much present in the gelato
Koibito’s Gelato uses sugar but it is strictly measured. The goal is for the product to have a clean finish on the palate and not leave an aftertaste, exactly how gelato should be.
Their no-sugar-added flavors Pistachio and Giandujia use natural sugar that is safe for diabetics. They also use whole fruits, not pastes. These fruits are not cooked but added straight into the mix in their original state.
“We took out the sucrose but there’s still plant-based ingredients safe for diabetics in order to achieve the right consistency and texture,” says Angeli. “We value the health of the Filipino in terms of adapting the original way of making gelato.”
Get to know more about Koibito’s World of Gelato’s artisanal products @koibitos on Instagram.