Edible Innovations: Secret Scoop Brings a Thai Twist to Traditional Gelato

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Edible Innovations: Secret Scoop Brings a Thai Twist to Traditional Gelato

From Singapore to the USA and all around Europe, Edible Innovations profiles food makers that engage in improving the global food system at every stage, from production to distribution to eating and shopping. Join us as we explore the main trends in the industry from a maker perspective. Chiara Cecchini of Food Innovation Program — an ecosystem with a strong educational core that promotes food innovation as a key tool to tackle the great challenges of the future — introduces you to the faces, stories, and experiences of food makers around the globe. Check back on Tuesdays and Thursdays for new installments.

On a hot summer day, especially in downtown Berkeley, nothing can brighten up your day like a big scoop of ice cream. The frozen delights can be associated with a bit of guilt, all of the sugars and added in flavors can eventually come back to haunt you. However, thanks to Funn Fisher, there is a healthier alternative to the way you consume sorbets and gelatos that keep portions, sugars, and preservatives in mind. With a unique twist on a traditional dessert, these Thai gelatos and sorbets have delicious flavors.

Funn Fisher moved to the Untied States back in 2008 to get her Master’s degree at the University of California, Berkeley. The architect turned gelato maker honed her design skills on the fly while also learning entrepreneurial tricks. She learned two things when she started looking at the United States, the first being flexibility in adjusting to new environments, and the second was that the U.S. loved its big serving sizes. She loved frozen desserts but hated the guilt associated with eating the sugary treats. They were all sweet and rich, and nothing like the flavors she was craving from her homeland in Thailand.

She set out to make her own flavors, portions, and gelato. It started out small. Initially only her friends were buying her new flavors, but as the business grew, she bought and founded Secret Scoop. What makes Funn’s journey even more incredible, is that even as she was opening and running a successful business, she was taking business classes to spark even more new and dynamic ideas. Funn’s ultimate goal was to create a gelato recipe that combined all of her experiences with her passion for healthy choices and diverse flavors.

In 2012 she won the Miss Shape Award in Thailand, affirming her beliefs about health and fitness. She believes that all her customers should be cognizant about what they are putting into their bodies, which is why her recipes are so simple. Her gelato isn’t only popular here in the United States either, she has now worked in Thailand, China, Dubai, and Singapore.

With a passion for design and creativity, each new flavor (ranging from Raspberry Basil Sorbet to Chocolate Lemongrass Gelato) brings new flavors to the forefront. The gelato is reminiscent of Thailand’s spices and fruits while still adding its own twist. You can get a scoop of a traditional sticky rice underneath for the full Secret Scoop experience.

You can pop into her shop in Berkeley if you are in northern California for a full tasting of all of their unique flavors!
Are you far away? No problem! You can try to make one of the best sellers at home. The ingredients for a Passion Fruit Sorbet are few: 2 cups of passion fruit pulp, 4 cups of water, 1.25 cups of brown sugar, 0.25 cups of pectin, and a pinch of salt. The process is really simple: just boil everything together, churn the mix in a fridge for 30-45 minutes, and then run it in an ice cream machine. That’s it! You’ll be ready to enjoy your passion fruit sorbet at home!

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Chiara is fascinated by food as a means to impact bodies, minds, and environment. She has studied international business in three different countries, and is an alumni of the Food Innovation Program and US Director at the Future Food Institute.

Based in California, she is also a Research Scholar at Food Science and Technology at UC Davis, working on building the first comprehensive Internet of Food to enable food care through food systems semantics. She is a selected member of Barilla Center Food Nutrition Foundation, a Research Affiliate at Institute For The Future, Board Member at Maker Faire and selected member of the Global Shapers, a young global network of innovators promoted by the World Economic Forum.

She is passionate about social entrepreneurship and impact investing, and aims to leave her mark on society.

View more articles by Chiara Cecchini