When we think of the perfect summer’s day, we can’t imagine anything better than enjoying a refreshing scoop of our favourite ice cream after a hot day on the beach.
At our Beach House, we are doing one better and offering homemade gelato from Gelato & Co. Cremeria Italiana. Gelato in Italian means “frozen” and refers to varieties of ice cream made in the traditional Italian style. Gelato is made from milk, sugar, fruit and nut purees and is generally lower in calories, fat, sugar than American-style ice cream. With fun flavours like Kroc Choc, Local Mango and Dulce de Leche (Argentinian style!), you can’t go wrong!
To celebrate the ultimate summertime treat, here is a brief history and some fun facts about gelato. Make sure to give it a try the next time you visit our Beach House. Dig in!
The history of gelato dates back to frozen desserts in Sicily, ancient Rome and Egypt made from snow and ice brought down from mountaintops and preserved below ground.
Bernardo Buontalenti, a cook from Florence, is said to have invented modern ice cream in 1565, as he presented his recipe and his innovative refrigerating techniques to Catherine de’ Medici, who in turn brought the novelty to France as Queen consort.
In 1686, the Sicilian fisherman Francesco Procopio dei Coltelli perfected the first ice cream machine. The popularity of gelato among larger shares of the population, however, only increased in the 1920s–1930s in the northern Italian city of Varese, where the first gelato cart was developed.
One of the basic differences between gelato and the ice cream in the United States is that it contains two thirds less butterfat and it doesn’t have as much air and therefore has a more intense flavour.
Gelato is served slightly warmer than ice cream by 10-15 degrees. Since it is less solidly frozen, gelato’s taste is further enhanced as it melts in the mouth.
Gelato is healthier than American-style ice cream since it is made with all natural ingredients and contains fewer calories and less butterfat.
In Sicily, gelato is traditionally served inside a brioche bun.
Most gelato makers in Italy tend to stick to traditional flavors, but you’ll see some crazy-sounding (or crazy-looking) gelato flavors in some shops – including puffo (the Italian word for Smurf).
A fun gelato idiomatic expression is “gelato dalla paura” meaning “scared stiff.”