While New Zealand First leader Winston Peters ponders which party to form a government with, icecream maestro Giapo Grazioli has made up his mind on what a coalition-inspired icecream should look like.

Asked by the Herald on Sunday to come up with a confection that reflects the current political landscape, Grazioli created the "Black Smoke" in his new Gore St premises, a venue that is more "innovation centre" than simple icecream parlour.

The Black Smoke is candy floss-flavoured icecream coloured with active charcoal, and with these two flavours Giapo has gently sidestepped the political question and nodded to the time-honoured tradition of cardinals blowing smoke from the Vatican when a pontiff is chosen.

At the Vatican, if the smoke billows white a Pope has been selected. If it's black, the cardinals are unresolved.


With hints of smoke and sweet flavours, Grazioli is as positive about Black Smoke - "it's delicious" - as he is about New Zealand's future.

Icecream artisan Giapo Grazioli tastes his politically themed Black Smoke creation. Photo / Doug Sherring
Icecream artisan Giapo Grazioli tastes his politically themed Black Smoke creation. Photo / Doug Sherring

"I love New Zealand and I know that everyone acts in good faith. We have two very good options," he says.

The Italian migrant refused to commit to blue or red sprinkles, instead speaking optimistically about the various possibilities when it comes to the question of who will govern the country.

"I didn't want to do any colours because the moment you side to one or the other, you get it wrong.

"I really wish the best for our little country. Whether you look left or right, they don't look too bad. We'll be alright."

Grazioli is known for his innovation in icecream - his Gore St store already caters to around 1000 customers a day - and his unique flavours turn their back on traditional chocolate and vanilla, instead reaching for inspiration in the likes of fried pizza and arancini rice balls.

But those hoping to buy a Black Smoke creation - along with those hoping for a quick resolution to coalition talks - are in for disappointment. Black Smoke was a one-off for the Herald on Sunday and the colour of the next government is still very much undecided.