Places to Eat

Zenzero Artisan Gelato Hits the Sweet Spot in New Braunfels

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Zenzero Artisan Gelato in New Braunfels is changing the dessert game for visitors and locals looking for a cold, sweet (and sort of healthy) treat. The brainchild of local New Braunfels couple, Peter and Emma Palmieri, Zenzero offers freshly-made, authentic gelato at a reasonable price, making this European delicacy available to everyone.

After retiring from successful careers as physicians, the Palmieris craved a simple, pared-down life in the Texas Hill Country. When they migrated to New Braunfels from Houston, the Palmieris decided to look into purchasing a frozen yogurt or ice cream franchise to fill their newly-acquired free time.

A Healthier Alternative to Fro Yo or Ice Cream


Photo: Facebook/Zenzero Artisan Gelato

After doing the due-diligence on most of the mainstream frozen yogurt business models, the Palmieris became disillusioned with the amount of chemicals, preservatives, artificial colors and flavors that went into creating most of the frozen yogurts in shops today. Zenzero’s co-owner, Emma Palmieri, a gastrointestinal pathologist, saw the effects of a diet full of preservatives and artificial colors and flavors in the bodies of her patients. She knew that she couldn’t condone serving that kind of chemical concoction in her own business. Her husband, Peter Palmieri, (born and raised in Italy) also knew that there was a better way of creating frozen treats – that way was by re-creating the artisan gelato of his childhood.

What Is Gelato and How Is It Different From Ice Cream?


Photo: Facebook/Zenzero Artisan Gelato

Gelato is the Italian gourmet version of ice cream. While ice cream is cream-based, gelato is milk-based, giving gelato a lower fat content. Also, the main ingredient in ice cream is air. Ice cream is churned at a fast speed to incorporate air, making it typically 50 to 60 percent air. Gelato is churned at a slow speed and has only about 15 percent air.

Imported Ingredients, Hand-Crafted Daily in Small Batches

Gelato sandwiches

Photo: Facebook/Zenzero Artisan Gelato

The Palmieris have taken it one step further by making sure that the gelato that they hand-craft in small batches, on-site daily is free from any preservatives, artificial flavors, and colors. In fact, they import many of the ingredients for their gelato directly from Italy, and what is not imported is purchased locally and made fresh daily. So, when you get a gelato from Zenzero, you’re tasting gelato that is as close as it comes to the original Italian gelato of Palmieri’s childhood.

Zenzero has recently obtained a license to add alcohol to their gelatos. As a result, the Palmieri family has been having fun trying out interesting new recipes. Among the fan favorites are the aptly-named, “Jack” which features dark chocolate and Jack Daniels whiskey and “Rossini” with strawberries and champagne.

Gelato, Crepes, and Coffee

In addition to the artisan gelatos at Zenzero, you can also enjoy a cup of coffee, featuring “illy coffee” from the Palmieri’s home town of Trieste, Italy. Crepes are another standout on the menu at Zenzero. From sweet to savory options, all crepes are made individually at the time of your order using an authentic Parisian recipe.

The next time you find yourself in New Braunfels and have a hankerin’ for a sweet treat or a savory crepe, head directly to Zenzero for a healthy, (yeah, we’re going to call it “healthy”) authentically Italian experience, lovingly created by a family realizing their dreams. It just doesn’t get much sweeter than that!