A popular ice cream champion has scooped another award.
Luciano Di Meo, who runs Di Meo ice cream parlour on Marine Avenue, Whitley Bay, has been voted the best frozen yoghurt maker in the UK.
Luciano was crowned UK champion in 2013 and 2014 and now his venture into providing a healthier alternative to ice cream has struck gold.
Judges at The National Ice Cream Competition voted his passion fruit frozen yogurt as the best in the UK.
The prestigious competition is organised by The Ice Cream Alliance and attracts entries from leading ice cream makers across the UK and Ireland.
Luciano said: “We created a range of frozen yoghurts to meet demand from customers who were looking for a different taste sensation to ice cream and it’s really paying off.
“Frozen yogurt has a cleaner taste than ice cream and you can really get the full taste of the fruit. It’s also quite a refreshing taste and perfect for hot summer days.”
Luciano was not the only member of his family to win national acclaim – his sister, Rosa, took the silver medal for her Valentine’s ice cream cake creation.
He added: “It is quite a skill to make these cakes.
“You have to work on them while they are frozen so you only get a few minutes before they have go back in the freezer again. She did really well.”
Luciano runs Di Meo with his father, Armando, mother Marianna, brother Romano and sister Rosa.
The family has been making ice cream for more than 100 years and he started his trade as a young boy.
Luciano said: “I was taught the secrets of making ice cream by my grandfather when I was eight years old and now it is in my blood. It is my passion and my life.”
For more information on The Ice Cream Alliance visit www.ice-cream.org