A Brussels ice cream shop, Pepe's glacier, has made it into the top 100 best ice cream manufacturers in the world, according to the Italian Gelato Festival World Master competition.
The competition, which was first organised in Florence in 2010, takes place every four years. With 22 participating countries, it is among the most prestigious ice competition in the world.
In 2019, the owner of Pepe's, José Romero, was awarded the title of 'best young Belgian', which gave him access to the festival's grand finale in Rome – where both fans and professionals can give points.
Pepe's special flavours make the Brussels shops stand out from the rest: cinnamon-caramel-pecan, litchi-raspberry, lemon-mint or vanilla with Dalgona pieces. Honouring his Latin American roots, Romera also offers exotic fruits, such as guava or lulo, that can hardly be found anywhere else in Belgium.
The flavour that earned Pepe's its place in the top 100 – place 96 – is a combination of cinnamon from Sri Lanka, caramelised pecans and caramel sea salt. "I had tasted a similar ice cream in Venice, but I tried to improve the taste," Romero told La Dernière Heure.
Under the name Pepe's glacier, he has three businesses in Woluwe-Saint-Lambert and one in Etterbeek.