The origins of the Italian ice cream (or gelato, as the Italians use to say) can be found even in the Bible, when Abraham offered to Isaac a beverage consisting of goat milk and snow to quench his thirst. Moreover, The Arabs imported sorbets in Sicily, while the Romans discovered various techniques of conservation. Finally, during the period pertaining to the Medici family, the city of Florence, with Catherine dei Medici and Henry, give success all over the world to the delicious dessert consisting of milk, cream and eggs: the Italian ice cream.
Discover the top 5 flavors of homemade ice cream related to the Italian territory and find their birthplaces in order to taste the best!
The Gianduia – Piedmont
The Gianduia is a compound made up of cocoa and hazelnuts, created in the beginning of ‘800 by a gelato’s craftsman from Turin who, because of the interruption on imports by Napoleon, replaced the expensive cocoa of the chocolate ice cream, with a cheaper hazelnut cream. The result was a great product that was then refined by Michele Prochet and Caffarel, who toasted nuts before chopping them. Today in Turin is still very much in vogue the chocolate candy gianduiotto, derived from the ice cream.
The Stracciatella – Lombardia
The gelato’s taste Stracciatella was invented in Bergamo in 1961 by Enrico Panattori the artisan of the ice-cream shop The Marianna, still open in the city. The lucky mix between the white cream and the irregular flakes of dark chocolate, inspired its name that reminds the “Roman Stracciatella”, an drop soup studded with small fragments of egg solidified.
The Florentine cream – Tuscany
In 1559, for the opening ceremony of the beautiful Belvedere Fortress in Florence, Cosimo I de’ Medici, commissioned an original dessert to the architect Bernardo Buontalenti, who was also a sculptor, an engineer, a chemical and a talented cook. He amazed the Italian and foreign guests with a new ice cream. Milk, eggs, fresh cream, sugar and dried macaroons, were the simple ingredients chosen for the most elegant cream in the world, called Florentine Cream or gelato Buontalenti.
The Truffle – Calabria
The Truffle from Pizzo Calabro is now the most famous and particular Calabrian ice cream made with hazelnuts, with an heart of melted dark chocolate and covered with a dusting of cocoa powder and sugar. It was invented around 1950 by the ice cream makers Veronelli and De Maria, who took over the famous Gran Bar Excelsior in Pizzo Calabro. One day, during a celebration, they exhausted the classic molds and decided to test a new way to produce ice cream: they made up some portions with the hollow of the hand to get some hemispherical irregular truffles.
The Pistachio – Sicily
Bronte is a little city in Sicily, on the volcano Etna slopes. Although this area is inaccessible and arid, here are produced the most delicious and tasty Italian pistachios, precisely called “green gold” because they are really valuable for the local economy. The Sicilian Pistachio is neither toasted nor salty, and thus keeps the authentic taste of the fruit. Especially during the country fair in September you can taste the real Pistachio gelato.
In this period you can taste the best homemade ice cream in all its traditional flavors and in a lot of modern and original variations thanks to the Ice Cream Festival, the appointment with the experts in Italian gelato who will give their delicious creations to the public. The event will touch the major Italian cities:
- Firenze (Piazzale Michelangelo, 21 – 25 April)
- Roma (Terrazza del Pincio, 29 April – 1 May)
- Torino (Piazza Solferino, 25 – 28 May)
- Milano (Piazza Castello, 1 – 4 June)
- Firenze (Piazzale Michelangelo, 14 – 17 September)
Save the date and do not miss the meeting with the best sweet tastes!