Tag Archives: gelato

Gelato showdown

BY: Molly Curry

Hello beautiful (cookies flavor)

Hello beautiful (cookies flavor)

FLORENCE, Italy – We, as a collective group of food writers, are generally ambitious people, and thus set a goal at the beginning of our trip to eat gelato at least once a day, every day that we are here. I am pleased to inform you that so far, we have stayed focused on our task, never straying from our righteous path.

This job has been made significantly easier by the fact that in the 15-20 minute walk to school we pass by over 10 gelato shops. And let me just say, I’m not mad about it.

But all this gelato consumption (admiration) made me ponder a hard-hitting question: how is gelato different from ice cream?

Let’s start with the basics. Gelato has a smaller fat base and a lot less air churned into it, giving it that thick, yet not too melty consistency that is perfect on a hot summer day. American ice creams are usually heavy on the cream (get it?), while gelato usually focuses on the milk, which is why it has less of a fat base. When ice cream is being churned, it is usually hard and fast, trying to pump as much air into the ice cream as possible. This makes it easier to scoop. Gelato churning is much slower. With less air in it, you might think the gelato would be a veritable ice-cold brick of deliciousness. It would be, but gelato is usually served at warmer temperatures than ice cream, so it stays soft.

While I do not believe in discrimination based on dairy product usage or otherwise, I must admit that to me, gelato is the superior frozen cream delight. From pistachio to banana. From pomegranate to Nutella. From mango to my personal favorite, dark chocolate. No matter the flavor, I’m very excited to continue towards our goal for a gelato filled trip!

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Filed under gelato, MU Journalism Abroad, Science ad Agricultual Journalism

A gelateria on every corner

By Christine Jackson

FLORENCE, Italy –In Chicago they say there’s a Walgreens on every corner. Here the same could be said for gelaterias. They dot corners, side streets and piazzas, each one offering to fill the craving that comes at any and every hour. No matter what street you’re on or what time it is, someone in this city always seems to be holding gelato.

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In the US somebody is probably going to judge you if you’re carrying an ice cream cone around at 10:30 in the morning on a rainy day. Not so here in Florence, where the creamy dessert is constantly present in the streets and on cozy tables throughout the city.

Gelato is similar to ice cream, but the process of making it is slightly different. Gelato has more milk and less egg and a typical cream recipe. It is also churned more slowly, which adds less air and makes it more dense. The differences in processes are slight, but the difference in flavor is noticeable. Gelato has a smoother texture and is never icy like some ice creams are. The flavors are also far richer than any ice creams I’ve had, perhaps due to the density. The flavors in ice cream may also diluted by their greater proportion of cream, but that’s just speculation.

The peach gelato I tasted had an incredibly strong peach flavor, but not in an artificial or syrupy way. Even the homemade peach ice cream I’ve had at roadside stands in Georgia and Alabama can’t touch the flavor that was packed into my tiny spoonful at Enrico’s gelateria and bar.

The quality of this popular dessert (and snack … and sometimes lunch) is only outdone by the quantities available. Beyond the many, many gelaterias, bright cases beckon from restaurants, cafes, coffee shops and convenience stores. Whether in tourist-tempting mountains of color and toppings or whorled tightly and correctly into their containers, gelato is everywhere.

Not that we’re complaining

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Filed under Florecne, MU Journalism Abroad, Science ad Agricultual Journalism

Got milk? Or, better yet, gelato?

Jordan Bromberg

FLORENCE, Italy – There is no shortage of gelato here in Florence, and I have certainly been enjoying my fair share of the tasty treat. In the more touristy areas of the city – around the Duomo, near Ponte Vecchio and in some of the more popular piazzas, – gelaterias display signs that read “ice cream.” This confused me, at first, as I have always recognized an obvious difference between gelato and ice cream. I have learned, however, that ice cream does, indeed, translate to “gelato” in Italian. While the same word may be used to name the two types of dessert, Italian gelato and American-style ice cream do have several important differences.

The main factor that influences the differences in the taste, texture and nutritional value between gelato and ice cream is fat content. Ice cream, with a heavier, creamier texture and taste, contains more fat. Eggs and cream are used in ice cream, causing its fat content to be higher than that of gelato, which is made with fewer egg yolks than ice cream and is prepared with more milk rather than cream.

The cream used to make ice cream enables air to be whipped into the dessert when it is churned at a fast speed. Gelato is churned at a much slower speed than ice cream. The slower churning and the lack of cream prevent as much air from being whipped into the substance. For this reason, gelato is denser than ice cream. Because it is made with milk rather than cream, gelato has a milky texture while ice cream is creamier.

The amounts of sugar and other ingredients added are not part of what deem a substance gelato or ice cream, but there are undoubtedly some differences in what is included to flavor the dessert.

My favorite gelateria/bakery, ARA’: è Sicilia, located several blocks away from the Duomo on Via Degli Alfan, has been making homemade gelato since it opened about one year ago.

I can taste the fresh, flavorful ingredients in every spoonful of any unique flavor I try. My personal favorite is Madagascar Vanilla with Sicilian Lemon, but flavors like Ricotta and Wild Fennel are surprisingly sweet and tasty, as well.

In a kitchen upstairs, the Sicilian owner makes all of the gelato and bakery items sold. He uses fresh milk from a nearby farm and regularly purchases other ingredients from local markets. All ingredients used are organic and have known origins.

The process used to make gelato and the ingredients that go into prove the Italian version of an American favorite to be less fattening and more nutritious. I am realizing that, while Italians may appear to be consuming just as many unhealthy foods as Americans, many of the foods that they are consuming are prepared in a healthier way with fresher, more natural ingredients.

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Filed under Florence, gelato

An Introduction: Gelato

Jenny Janssen

FLORENCE, Italy — I expected a line at Gelateria Vivoli. Simonetta Ferrini, our culture studies professor at the Florence University of the Arts, assured us of its gelato fame. To my surprise, even in the heat of the day, we entered with no wait and our class quickly filled every corner of the tiny rustic shop, with its pink cursive neon sign above the doorway, beckoning locals and tourists alike. The server busily paced along the counter while I selected cocco and limone,

Gelateria Vivoli in Florence, Italy. Can you pick just two flavors?

Gelateria Vivoli in Florence, Italy. Can you pick just two flavors?

coconut and lemon, a perfect combination on a hot sunny day here in the city.

The lemon had a taste that was light and not sugary with a texture similar to sorbet but not icy. The tang of the lemon paired with the sweet creamy coconut gave the combination layers of flavor. From the very first spoonful of the coconut, there was a sweetness of coconut milk within the scoop as well as small bits of fresh coconut for subtle texture. Then, a hint of vanilla bean hits you. All of this was served in a small cup, not a cone that would compete with the flavors, a serving style unique to Gelateria Vivoli.

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Filed under Florence, gelato, journalism, regional food