If you would like have an unforgettable experience eating gelato there are a couple of things you need to know before you buy your ice cream. Have a look at the surroundings in the ice cream shop , the care with which the ice cream are placed in the freezers displaying the owners passion in creating and serving : where the artisan treats his ice creams as their own child. Our suggestion is to try to choose the ones that are made with love and care.
Gelato in Italy is simply delicious and perhaps the best in the world. A lot of it is eaten in the summer, although it is found all year round.
The word comes from “congelato”, meaning frozen. This dessert is made of milk, cream, eggs, sugar and several other ingredients combined with a lot of imagination.
Gelato isn’t comparable to other ice-creams for several reasons: it contains less sugar, less cream and less air, its less frothy, and its taste is characterised by the many ingredients that are used to create the taste of each flavor.
In the summer heat, you often feel like eating a gelato, perhaps all day long. In the winter it can be eaten as a dessert or a snack. In the summer it can be an excellent substitute for a meal or a wonderful way to have a snack, perhaps after a long swim in the sea … There is no definite rule, for gelato that’s the point, you are totally free. Perhaps a gelato while taking a walk in the late afternoon or in the evening after dinner may make for an unforgettable experience!
Where and Pricing
Where to buy your icecream and how much pay for it depends on the type of ice cream you would like to have. In Italy there are two different categories of ice creams:
1) Industrial ice cream (also called “gelato confezionato”) which you can buy at the supermarkets, swimming pools , kiosks or in the café’, and also from the vending machines;
2) gelato ‘artigianale,’ which can be purchased in café’s or in gelato shops. Gelato parlours are usually run by locals who exclusively make ice cream.
Both types of ice cream are popular among the people. Industrial ice cream is definitely less special than the craftsmanship offered by gelato makers but it’s definitely very satisfying. Its price ranges from 1.5 to 3.5 euros.
Gelato (artiginale) meaning handmade is where the ice-cream maker that produces it, from sourcing the raw materials and following their own secret recipe, at least in theory, however this is not always true, very often the artisan’s gelato’s are made using some industrial materials and unfortunately has no special qualities. Our suggestion is to try to choose the ones made with love and care. In fact, very often the ice cream makers are people who devote themselves body and soul every day of their lives to the production of ice cream . In order to create this, they choose the best products: fresh milk, better eggs and ingredients with flavor, they use the required amount of sugar so that the ice cream taste is real without tasting too sweet. The true ice cream makers devote their lives to creating better and more refined flavours of ice-cream. If you would like have an unforgettable experience eating gelato there are a couple of things you need to know before you buy your ice cream. Have a look at the surroundings in the ice cream shop , the care with which the ice cream are placed in the freezers displaying the owners passion in creating and serving : where the artisan treats his ice creams as their own child. This is the reason that traditional gelato’s range from EUR 2.5 to Euro 5. Should you decide to sit at a table to have your gelato, the price may be a bit higher, around the adding another 3 -4 euros per person, no more.
In the cities like Venice, the service while seated could be much more expensive, please ask before sitting down.
As you can imagine gelato in Italy is very popular and for this reason there is a huge supply of ice cream, this does not mean that all the ice cream offered have the same quality.
This is why we suggest traditional gelato, made with authentic products that do not use industrial products. You will notice that the gelato doesn’t contain a lot of cream and sugar and tastes natural, reflecting the ingredients.
There are several types of industrial ice cream, some really very elaborate, but all of them can be traced back to some traditionally made gelato’s. Let’s have a look at the types of industrial ice cream and which ones to choose:
It is very simple but a delicious ice cream, and very fulfilling. There is milk ice cream on a chocolate-waffle cone garnished with ground roasted hazelnuts. Simple and delicious . What makes it so special? The last bite of the cone . Just when you start to feel sad that your ice cream is about to finish the last bite leaves you with a pleasant surprise which is a filling of chocolate!
The chocolate waffle cone is the oldest version, but now there are infinite amounts of these cones with coffee ice cream, chocolate, or both (chocolate and milk together).
Ice cream sandwich
Biscotto is ice cream between two layers of biscuits, similar to a sandwich. The first version, is very simple, biscuits with vanilla ice cream or vanilla cream filling. There is the chocolate biscuit ice cream with endless variations: Milk ice cream with chocolate biscuits; vanilla biscuits with milk chocolate ice cream; biscuits made of waffle, like the cones, filled with milk ice cream and glazed with chocolate. So many variations, which are all delicious and worth trying out!
Penguin | PInguino
Yes, the name of this cream is Penguin, just like the cute animal from the North Pole. It is, a very simple ice cream: with a crunchy chocolate coating and milk ice cream. It is delicious and along with the cornetto gives a lot of satisfaction while eating it, especially when the chocolate crust shatters and you hear the crack once you take a bite.
A possible variant of the penguins is the “Kibble”, an ice cream with a chocolate-covered with crushed macaroons on the outside.
The Penguin is one of the ice cream that has evolved of the years and has endless varieties some very complex, but truly one which is truly special is the one named “Magnum” and is produced by Algida (Unilever). The Magnums are so rich in that they are world famous, so much so that their name by now, has become synonymous with (or perhaps replaced)the Penguin ice cream.
There are magnums with a thick crust of chocolate: dark, milk, white chocolate, hazelnut and caramel, double layer … really, enough to drive you crazy.
The Popsicle is The cream for kids or people who enjoy the taste sugar water and ice. There are several flavors: Coke, Orange, lemon, mint, strawberry . They are very refreshing and simple, perhaps ideal for those who are taking care of their diet. As for me, it isn’t my favourite!
The traditional homemade ice cream– Artiginale
The traditional homemade ice cream, is true craftsmanship in Italy.
It is handmade by someone who makes ice creams as a profession. It is made from a mixture of milk, cream, water, sugar and other ingredients, which characterize the flavor (vanilla, chocolate, hazelnut, strawberry, etc.) mixed together and then cooled slowly into a thick and silky cream.
The quality of the ice cream is inevitably linked to the quality of the ingredients, the skill and technique of the ice-cream maker. Good quality and fresh ingredients make for good ice cream naturally rich in flavor and without the need of too much sugars and industrial additives.
The craftsmen work hard on finding fresh raw, genuine, products which are rich in flavor. The ice cream that tastes good is rich in fats and for this reason it doesn’t keep for too long.
You can find many classic flavours everywhere, but you know that no one ice cream is equal to the other. May be similar, but each of them have their own secret recipe and, thus, each ice cream is a new and different experience.
For this reason it is important to have some small basic information where you can navigate and know what to choose and order.
How to order the homemade ice cream
Choosing a shop to buy your ice cream is not an easy task, there are many but not all of them are equally good. If you do not see a workspace at the back of the shop, the ice cream will probably not be artisanal, but an industrial product served at the counter. Our suggestion is to avoid ice cream parlours that have counters full of colored ice cream. This ice cream, although very inviting, are usually industrial and isn’t natural. Artisanal gelato has a faint colour, maybe even less inviting, but its flavors are natural and genuine, with less rich toppings and added sugars.
The flavor of well-made ice cream comes through its ingredients and not sugars.
Try choosing a shop where you can order your ice cream: don’t be afraid of the language barrier . If the ice cream man doesn’t speak English or your language, no problem, just make yourself understood in sign language! The first thing to choose is the size. Typically the size offered are “small” 2/2.5/3.5 euros, “medium” euro 2.5 and “large” 3/5 euro. You can pay 0.5/1 euro extra if you want an addition of whipped cream over your ice cream, it’s a little fatty but pretty good. Not everyone likes it though. Usually its 2 flavors for the small, three for the middle and more for the large .
The next item to choose is the container, you can choose to have your gelato in a wafer cone or a cup. If you want to take your ice cream home, to a friend’s house as a gift they will be put in a Styrofoam tray.
Next, the best of part of, the choice of the flavor! There are so many flavors and here are some tips to guide you.
The richest and most delicious flavors of gelato are those that take the name of “ice cream”.
Ice cream can be chocolate or egg with cream. The egg custard ice cream with rum and raisins is called the Malaga flavored ice cream. A very common and well known flavour is called “Stracciatella” which is an ice cream with fiordilatte (flower of milk in Italian) base and with crunchy chocolate flakes . Amarena ice-cream which is a base of ice cream with fiordilatte (flower of milk in Italian and cherries dipped in syrup.
There are the following flavours too: Coffee , Tiramisu , cassata Siciliana, made with milk, marshmallows and chocolate pieces. Another delicious flavor is vanilla ice cream with egg and marsala liqueur.
Other famous flavours are those with dried fruit, almond, pistachio or hazelnut. The name of the hazelnut ice cream comes from an Italian chocolate ,called “Bacio Perugina”. Bacio Perugina is a dark chocolate with a hazelnut inside and a love note in its wrapper. These chocolates are exchanged between lovers on Valentine’s day.
These are the classic tastes of the Italian gelato, but every ice-cream shop constantly creates new flavours to taste. So you can find salted caramel ice cream, marron glacé, ricotta and figs, Sacher cake, peanuts, orange chocolate, white chocolate, or chilli chocolate.
Another important flavour, especially in summer, is that of fruit gelato. In the summer there are many types of delicious fruits and, thus, the homemade ice cream with summer fruits are very refreshing and delicious . Ice cream with fruit is even more lightweight than traditional creams, because it contains less cream, sugar and milk. Some no milk or cream at all.
There are many kinds of fruit ice cream; lemon, orange, strawberry, with berries (blackberries, raspberries, blueberries), coconut, mint, melon, banana, pineapple, watermelon, the figs, grapefruit.
Let yourself go and discover new flavors!