You might think it was invented for the era of Instagram, but spaghetti ice cream, or spagetthieis, as it’s known in Germany, has been around for decades. It was invented in the city of Manheim, in 1969, by Dario Fontanella, the son of an Italian migrant.
Vanilla ice cream is passed through a machine to make it look like pasta, then covered with strawberry sauce (the “Bolognese”) and sprinkled with white chocolate (the Parmesan). This is how Rovena Xeba learned to make it when she worked in an ice cream shop in Germany. “It’s very common there. If you find a German and ask them if they know spaghettieis, they’ll say yes right away!” she tells SBS Food. “I’m proud to say we’re the first shop to bring it here.”
Originally from Albania, Xeba moved to Germany with her parents when she was a child, then to Australia as an adult. After getting married and having children, the timing seemed right last year to open her ice cream shop in Port Melbourne.
“Here, we have McDonald’s on every corner, but in Germany, they have ice cream shops doing ice cream like this. It’s very popular,” she explains. These German ice cream parlours often add fruits, syrups and other toppings to the ice cream and serve it in beautiful glass cups. They also like to shape the ice cream like animals or other foods.
“I’ve always wondered why there was nothing like this here. It was always my dream to one day open a shop like that,” she says.
After going back to Germany to get all the equipment and Italian Murano glass cups she needed, Xeba enlisted family and friends to renovate the shop. She now runs Ice Cafe Venezia with her husband and eldest daughter. The name is borrowed from the ice cream parlour where she used to work.
“It’s been a big hit with the German community. All the Germans, they come here and they say it reminds them of home,” says Xeba.
She makes all the ice cream on site, with natural ingredients. Flavours change often, and on any day, you can find more than 30 types, including some vegan and diabetic-friendly. Ferrero Rocher, chocolate, matcha and vanilla are among the most popular. There are also more trendy flavours like “Black Hawaii”, which contains activated charcoal, coconut and Oreo cookies.
You can get your ice cream on a cone, in a cup, on a waffle or on a crêpe. But if you’re visiting for the first time, go for one of the typically German creations. Of course, the spaghettieis is our first choice, but you can also go for ice cream shaped like lasagne cannelloni, pizza and steak.
While all of these come in a traditional version, Xeba says she’s more than happy to customise it to your taste with different ice creams, fruit sauces and toppings. Chocolate spaghettieis? Sign us up!
65 Bay St, Port Melbourne, Vic
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