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Paciugo Gelato


It’s all about that case at Paciugo -- the case with a rainbow of gelato flavors that changes daily and sits like an edible Pantone display luring in young and old alike.

“Let’s try it. Make sure you love it,” owner Melinda Wiggins tells a pair of grade schoolers who are drawn to the purple sheen of lavender vanilla.

Paciugo opened six-and-a-half years ago in Park Place. The first Paciugo (there are now several dozen across the country) opened in Dallas, only a block from Wiggins’ home at the time.

“It was the gelato that I fell in love with when I went to Italy. It tasted exactly like what I had there,” Wiggins says.



When she moved to Kansas, she decided to open a Paciugo of her own. In the spring, the Leawood gelato shop features more fruit and citrus flavors that often find their way into frizzantes – sorbet blended in San Pellegrino sparkling water. Gelato is made with whole milk, which makes it denser than traditional ice cream.

The name Paciugo roughly translates from Italian to English as ‘messy concoction.’ As a result, we decided to make a few messy concoctions of our own. Here’s eight pairings that we recommend you attempt.

A Cup of Dessert. Tiramisu + Cinnamon. The cinnamon finds the same accent flavor in the tiramisu and the two together are like a great end to dinner.


I Do. Lavender Vanilla + Wedding Cake. The cake gelato is rich enough to match the floral notes, which are an edible take on the fondant flowers that typically adorn wedding cakes.


Go Nuts. Pistachio Almond + Coconut Crème Pie. The coconut, which includes freshly grated coconut, lends sweetness that balances the nuttiness of the pistachio.


Very Cherry. Amerena Black Cherry Swirl + Amaretto Chocolate Chip. This is like a chocolate-covered cherry in a cup. The cherries are candied cherries that take three days to make.


A Cup of Coffee. Mediterranean Sea Salt Caramel + Coffee Mocha Swirl. A mochaccino by the spoonful -- the salt in the caramel (the most popular flavor in the case) plays off the coffee well.


All the Berries. Frutti Di Bosco and Bacio Chocolate Hazelnut. You get sweet and salty in one cup. The Frutti Di Bisco is strawberries, blackberries, raspberries and blueberries.


Mexican Hot Chocolate. Cinnamon + Chocolate Jalapeno. This is the frozen cousin of Mexican hot chocolate with heat from the jalapeno and spice from the cinnamon. This has a kick at the end that keeps building.


A Spoonful of Cake. Strawberry Balsamic Vinegar + Tre Vaniglie (three vanillas). A grown up version of strawberry shortcake that will also call to mind berries and cream.