Tag Archives: gelato

Gelato

26 Aug

Whether you’ve been to Italy many times, or hope to visit someday, eating gelato is no doubt on your list. As the summer heat intensifies, what better way to cool your palate and bring a smile to your face than with some delicious gelato.

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Gelato is Italy’s version of ice cream, yet tastes much better. Why? I wondered, and did a little research. Although I am much better at enjoying gelato than making it, here are three major differences I discovered:

  1. Gelato generally has less than 10% butterfat, compared to ice cream’s typical 18-25+ range. The lower butterfat causes the gelato to melt in your mouth faster and provides an immediate blast of flavor.
  2. Air is not added to gelato, giving gelato a higher density than most ice cream. This density results in gelato’s rich taste and very creamy texture.
  3. Although gelato is a frozen dessert, it can be served at a temperature 10°+ warmer than ice cream, adding to its creamier consistency.It's the picture of Italian ice-cream in a sho...

It seems as though you can find a gelateria, or ice cream store, in just about every town in Italy. Some have several, and the larger cities seem to have one on every corner. Cortona has several.

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Although gelato is almost always good, the taste and quality can vary. I tend to shy away from outdoor ones in direct sunlight. You can just tell.

Gelato is typically presented in stainless tubs in large cooled glass displays.

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Some newly designed modern displays are even becoming popular.

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Cup or cone? Large or mini? Whatever you prefer.

Gelato Cones (Florence)

Need free samples to decide? Assolutamente!

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As for flavors, think of the rainbow, or better yet, a large box of new crayons. Pink and yellow are not just added colors.

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You can often expect actual pieces of fruit in the frutta gelato such as peach, pineapple, mango, banana or apricot. Creme are the creamy gelatos such as chocolate, vanilla, hazelnut, caffé, and pistachio.

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What’s the most popular? Seems to be chocolate, although it comes in many varieties such as dark, extra dark, fudge, milk, etc. And the names seem to be as creative as the flavors. Learning them is like Intro to Italian I.

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Gelato 2 (Photo credit: minonda)

So, whatever your palate, there is always one flavor to please…in fact, probably several.  Thanks, Grandpa!

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And of course, don’t worry if it starts to drip a bit. Besides tasting great, gelato is always finger licking good!

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Gelato anyone?

Ciao,

Judy

Italy’s Gelato Rules!

24 Oct

Usually this would mean as implied… and why not, since delicious gelato is so readily available in Italy.

As of this month, however, the Rome City Council has adopted a rule – actually an ordinance – that prohibits eating or drinking on the streets in the city center of Rome. And that includes gelato!

To be fair, similar ordinances already exist in Florence, Venice and Bologna.

And further to the point, it is mostly foreign tourists and not Italians who typically perch on monuments and nibble away at paninis or indulge in gelato.

So, as you take in incredible Roman sights, including the Coliseum, Spanish Steps, Piazza Navona, Pantheon, and any areas that “have a particular historic or architectural value,” eat first or go hungry, or risk a fine that can range from 25 to 500 euro, or up to $650!

What exactly does the Council ordinance say?

“It is forbidden to encamp or erect makeshift shelters and stop to eat or drink in zones which have a particular historic or architectural value.” The ordinance is an attempt to “guarantee the protection of areas of merit in the historic center.”

Now not all Italians agree with the new ordinance. La Republicca, an Italian newspaper, called this ordinance a “war on the panino.”

And some fear the ordinance will impact tourism, which Italy certainly needs.

Like this young man, I certainly can be counted among those who have wandered with a gelato in hand.

But being someone who tries to look on the bright side, maybe this ordinance isn’t so bad after all. Besides saving the historic zones from litter, perhaps tourists will learn to appreciate and even embrace the cultural aspects of eating in Italy as they now take time to sit at tables, appreciate the food, sip their cappuccino or vino, enjoy their gelato and even share a conversation with friends or locals.

As visitors to this wonderful country, tourists might as well experience some of the Italian “gioia di vivere” while taking in some of the greatest monuments Europe has to share.

Ciao,

Judy

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