You better believe that Cher’s gelato is delicious.
When it was announced last week that the iconic singer, actress and fashion icon had created her own line of the frozen treat, branded Cherlato, it was met with countless clever social media jokes about the flavors. I know I expected it to be just another celebrity product; Not bad — Cher, after all, is Cher — but nothing special.
And yet, when I had a chance to bite into the creations, at a press preview July 28 in Los Angeles, I saw how wrong my initial expectations had been. This stuff was fantastic. Bonus: The food truck dishing it out — the only place it's available for now — played some Cher favorites, such as "The Shoop Shoop Song (It's in His Kiss)," while you enjoyed.
And there's a reason for the tastiness. Cher teamed with Gianpaolo "Giapo" Grazioli, a known gelato artist in New Zealand, who purports to rely on "seasonal ingredients, beautifully presented in bold and playful flavors and optional toppings." As their Instagram bio says, the brand is "created by Giapo, curated by Cher."
Cher was unavailable for an interview, but she gave a statement about her longtime project — which she's been working on for five years — coming to the masses: "It's the gelato that gets you out of bed at midnight. It's no secret that I absolutely love ice cream and gelato. When I tasted Giapo's gelato while on tour in Auckland, New Zealand, it was the best I'd ever had. When I returned to his store the next day he had each flavor prepared for me to taste. I loved them all. Giapo is truly the Michaelangelo of gelato."
Here are all the flavors rated by the number of looks by Cher's favorite designer, Bob Mackie, on a scale of one to 10, because why not?:
Stracciatella Giapo's Way: 10 Bob Mackie looks
Just like Mermaids is easily my favorite Cher movie, this one was my hands-down favorite of her gelatos. I had expected it be the chocolate, but the vanilla gelato here was so creamy and rich and went perfectly with the generous portion of serious chocolate dripped on top. I had sample sizes of everything, but this is the one that I ended up taking home in a full-size.
Breakfast at Cher's Coffee & Donuts: 8 Bob Mackie looks
The way this one is served was really cute. Who wouldn't want a doughnut with your coffee-flavored gelato? The thickness of the doughnut was about halfway in between a cake doughnut and a Krispy Kreme. I thought it was just OK on its own, but with the gelato, yum! The gelato itself had a deep coffee flavor and was also amazing solo. But the doughnut did give it a fun presentation, which I'm a sucker for.
Chocolate XO Cher: 8 Bob Mackie looks
Grazioli told me at the event, where he graciously thanked everyone for coming and mingled with the crowd of about 20 reporters and influencers, that this is Cher's personal favorite. (She's also partial to the breakfast one above.) For me, the standout feature was the crunchy chocolate nibs sprinkled over the gelato. It gave a great crunch and kept it from being too one note.
SoCal's Coldest Avocado on Toast: 7 Bob Mackie looks
What a whimsical twist on what's been one of L.A's popular brunch dishes for years now! Like the chocolate, the avocado gelato needed a contrasting element. Cue the breadcrumbs — yes, you read that correctly — which added some texture and, well, bread. (Always a good thing, right?) It reminded me of an olive oil ice cream I've had locally, and that's a compliment.
L.A., I Love You: 7 Bob Mackie looks
Like most places in L.A., the Cherlato truck offers a vegan option. In this case, you can tell by the gorgeous way it's presented that it wasn't an afterthought. Right? Your eyes devour it before you ever take a bite. By the way, the cloud is both optional and edible. The gelato underneath is lemony, even tart. It's the kind of dessert that makes you think that going vegan might not be as difficult as you thought.
Snap Out of It! Kefir & Cardamom: 7 Bob Mackie looks
Obviously, this flavor has the best name. And while you could taste that all the flavors were fresh, as promised, and it was so pretty, it didn't leave me wanting more. This chocoholic had to get back to the stracciatella, but for those wanting something lighter, this or the L.A. I Love You, is the best choice. At least for now.
The Cherlato website has a schedule for the L.A. neighborhoods it'll pop up in over the next week or so, and it appears more dates have been added.
My advice is to get in line when it parks near you.