When I think about the very notion of ice cream “trends,” I am daily reminded that I’m getting older. According to my upbringing and experience, ice cream is made from cream or fruit, comes in cones or cups, and the rest is untouchable, eternal, and without history.
Ice cream was on God’s mind before the Big Bang - come to think of it, the Higgs Boson recalls the very notion of a scoop of ice cream thanks to its shape, wouldn’t you say?
In reality, ice cream has always had its seasons. Today, it’s simply become more fashionable to have “collections,” following a quasi-haute couture path in its development. The end of spring, heading into summertime, shifts into a paradise of options in ice cream parlours and bars across Italy.
Want to try your hand at making your own homemade Italian gelato? Check out the recipe for Classic Italian Cream Gelato, and begin mastering your knowledge of top-shelf Italian desserts today!
A SUMMERTIME CHOCOLATE OPTION
In the world of Italian chocolates, you know we love artisanal approaches and craftsmanship. But in this study of what’s available in the world of ice cream, we’re starting from a large supermarket availability.
Why? Because the idea of a summer spent at the sea, of a long Italian beach season, rests on the shoulders of the ice creams we love to purchase at bars in our favorite beach clubs.
Just as much as summertime is marked by sun-decks, sun-chairs, shorelines, and the junk reading we do, the Italian beach season is also outlined by the ice creams we include.
This year, we saw the debut into the world of ice creams of the Ferrero company, of Nutella fame. Tired of waiting for the crispy praline, which are put back on sale exclusively in the fall in order to ensure the quality of its chocolate, the Ferrero treat is now available in an impossibly delicious ice cream version.
Try the Ferrero Rocher in either Classic or Dark Chocolate versions. Let your body temperature cool off with hazelnut ice cream marbled with chocolate and covered with a crispy coating of either milk or dark chocolate and toasted chopped hazelnut pieces.
Ferrero even developed the Raffaello candy into an ice cream form, a coconut enthusiast’s dream. Meet your coconut quotient with coconut ice cream doused in coconut flakes and toasted almonds.
Want a different flavor or topping for your creamy homemade Italian gelato? Give the tangy Yogurt Gelato with Strawberries and Apple Balsamic Vinegar a try today, and treat your taste buds to a refreshing dessert!
NATURE-INSPIRED ICE CREAM
Let’s make our way towards the artisans of cool. In Milan, volcanic Stefano Guissetti of Ciaccio is instead inspired by notion of bringing the mountain to Mohammed (“If the mountain will not come to Muhammad, then Muhammad must go to the mountain.”) Instead of bringing your ice cream on vacation, what about bringing your vacation to your ice cream?
Inspired by the seaside, Giussetti produces flavors incorporating fig leaves, helichrysum and lentisk, the classic aromatic botanicals found in Mediterranean seaside walks across the country. Let’s not overlook the mountains either - Guissetti crafts a gelato infused with fir cones. Just in case you head regularly to the countryside as you flee the heat of the city, an ice cream infused with alfalfa hay and ailanthus honey will bring you straight into the heart of agrarian paradise.
MAKING EATING AND DRINKING INTO A WHOLE NEW EXPERIENCE
Renowned mixologist Mattia Pastori believes that the future of ice cream lies in a mix of ice cream and cocktails. Refreshing, summery, low alcohol-containing recipes are perfect for sipping and feasting upon during torpid summer afternoons.
Think a Frozen Americano mixed with coffee, a Sgroppino Mediterraneo with Bergamot Accents, or a Tiramisù Colada! These drink-ice cream combinations are inspired by the excellent options available at the historic Mangia e Bevi Bar Basso in Milan.
To further entwine the relationship between cocktails and ice cream, these unique cocktails will be available starting now through July at the Gelateria Vier bar in Pavia. This gelateria is a focal point of Pavia’s city center, and is a 20-year long historic gelato boutique run by Mattia’s parents.
You might be surprised to know that gelato is part of the classic Mediterranean Diet. Want to know more about this nutritional approach? Read Live the Mediterranean Diet for a healthy, happy life and brush up on how to include gelato in your own diet!
CHRISTMAS IN AUGUST
Simone De Feo, noted for his devotion making ice cream available throughout the year, is now tackling another sacrosanct Italian culinary giant. With his work at the Cremeria Capolinea in Reggio Emilia, De Feo is now aiming to make Panettone, the classic Italian Christmastime dessert, a year-round treat. How is he approaching this objective?
By combining the two. The house specialty at Cremeria Capolinea is artisanal gelato eaten together with the Queen of all yeasty desserts, Panettone.
In order to make a Panettone however, that’s beyond your classic Christmas Panettone, De Feo keeps a constant flow of sourdough and creativity flowing. This helps him reinvent Panettone according to monthly variables in his recipes, all of which are inspired by the season’s bounty.
What other foods are classic Italian summertime staples? Read here, Staying Afloat With Modern Sustainable Fishing, and find out how seafood is faring on this year’s tables across Italy.
COLLECTIVE ICE CREAM
Milan’s Gusto 17 boutique offers, as you might infer from its name, 16 daily flavors plus one. In order to bring the public into the process, the 17th daily flavor is created by customers, brands, or influencers, in an effort to involve everyone in the creative ice cream process.
In addition to these fresh gelato flavor selections, Gusto 17 provides an irresistibile line of ice cream mixed with pastries: fresh cookies, bon-bons, mini gelato filled cones and popsicles made with the boutique’s fresh artisanal ice creams. If that wasn’t tempting enough, the gelato treats are then covered in chocolate or in-house produced crunchy granola.
As of April 2021, Gusto 17 has activated an e-commerce service covering all of Italy. On this site, you can create your own Gusto dei Desideri, or Tasting Wishlist. From the site, you can also create your very own personalized Gelato Pastry product.
Working together with the Italian branch of the global Make-A-Wish® foundation, each order placed via the Gelato 17 website allows the shop to contribute to the funds of the association, helping make the wishes of children with serious illnesses come true. The e-commerce site also meets the ice-cream desires of gelato enthusiasts throughout Italy.
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