If you're a fan of decadent frozen desserts and the "Goddess of Pop," you'll be thrilled to know that Cher has launched Cherlato, a food truck serving artisanal gelato — in edible gold cones, obviously. And while we've seen our fair share of dubious celebrity-backed restaurants and bars, we can attest that this is one worth lining up for.
When the music icon shared the news of her new business on social media, the announcement was met with plenty of clever puns in headlines and social media comments that played off some of Cher's most famous songs: "Churn Back Time," "Do You Believe In Ice Cream After Lunch," and “Cher — The Scoop Scoop Song.”
But we wanted to know if the news was a mere publicity stunt with the singer's name and face plastered on the side of an ice cream truck, or if Cher was truly committed to the cause of delicious gelato. To find out, we attended a press preview of Cherlato in Los Angeles to try out the flavors — here's what we discovered.
(While the tasting was complimentary, what follows are our honest opinions.)
What Is Cherlato?
As much as we hoped to find Cher herself whipping up gelato and scooping it from the truck, Cherlato is actually a joint venture with New Zealand-based chef and gelato guru Giapo Grazioli, who is known for his innovative desserts. But that's not to say Cher isn't involved with the flavors served from the truck. According to Cherlato's Instagram page, the gelato is "Created by Giapo, Curated by Cher."
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While we unfortunately didn't have the chance to meet Cher, we did get to hear from Giapo about his enthusiasm for utilizing seasonal ingredients, creative toppings, and imaginative presentations. Case in point: toppings that include cotton candy and donuts and cones covered in edible gold.
What Flavors Does Cherlato Have on Its Menu?
The Cherlato menu features a variety of flavors that utilize sustainably and locally sourced ingredients from farms and artisanal producers. The flavors are available "naked" on their own or, in some cases, with a recommended topping that corresponds with the flavor profile. Here is the current Cherlato menu:
- Chocolate XO Cher! - 72% onyx dark chocolate topped with freeze-dried raspberries
- Snap out of it! Kefir & Cardamom - Organic kefir and cardamom (optional topping of cotton candy and flower petals)
- Breakfast at Cher's Coffee & Donuts - Coffee beans from Chiapas, roasted by Alana's Coffee (optional topping of a donut)
- SoCal's Coldest Avocado on Toast - Kimball avocados with Bill's Bees' avocado blossom honey (optional topping of breadcrumbs and matcha)
- Stracciatella Giapo's Way - Mexican vanilla beans with chopped dark chocolate
- LA, I Love You (vegan) - Made with Arnett Farms' pluots and Malibu Mylk
We really enjoyed the Chocolate XO Cher, where the rich dark chocolate was refreshingly accented by the tart raspberries. And we're suckers for fresh pluots, so LA, I Love You was a hit. But our favorite flavor was Coffee & Donuts. It's hard to mess with such an iconic pairing, especially when it's a creamy coffee made with freshly roasted beans and topped with a mini glazed donut. The stracciatella is a great option for those who want a classic chocolate chip-type flavor.
As much as we enjoy bold flavors like cardamom, the spice seemed to dominate the overall flavor of Snap out of it! more than we would have liked, and could have used something to balance it. The cotton candy was fun though, as was the nod to a line from Cher's Oscar-winning performance in "Moonstruck": "Snap out of it!" The avocado and honey gelato was tasty, but we weren't crazy about the breadcrumb toppings, which were a bit too overpowering.
How Much Does Cherlato Gelato Cost?
Cherlato gelato is not cheap when compared to what you might find at old-school ice cream shops or pints you might pick up at the grocery store, but the prices are roughly on par with most artisanal ice cream and gelato shops these days — though maybe a couple of dollars more for the celebrity glow (and a lot more if you're going for the gold). Here are the size options with prices:
- Single scoop with cone - $8
- Single scoop with gold cone - $18
- Single scoop in a cup - $7
- Kids cup, no toppings - $5
- 2nd scoop - $3
The recommended toppings range from an additional $1.50 to $3.50 (for the donut).
Where Can I Find Cherlato?
The Cherlato truck is currently popping up at locations around Los Angeles (follow it here), but there are plans in the works for a bricks-and-mortar location in the future. And given the popularity of both Cher and gelato, there's a good chance Cherlato could be appearing in other cities down the road.