Gelato in Italy

Gelato in Italy

Real Italian Gelato – A Dream Come True!

A few weeks ago my mother, sisters and I were lucky enough to spend two weeks in Italy. It has always been a dream of my mother to go on a trip with her girls. And duh, Italy on top of the list. Who doesn’t like pasta, wine and gelato? It was my aim to eat a scoop of gelato each day. 

Do you know what the difference is between ice cream and gelato? 

We’ve all heard of gelato, but who actually knows why and when we call it gelato? well, did you know gelato is the Italian word for ice cream? Although it means the same, it technically is not the same. Same, but different. You following? 😉 

Gelato is predominantly made with milk and sugar, and a smaller percentage of cream. Ice cream, on the other hand, is made with a cream and sugar base with a smaller percentage of milk. Ice cream traditionally contains egg yolk, where gelato’s might or might not contain egg yolk.

The other main difference is that gelato base is churned differently than conventional ice cream. It is churned at a much slower rate. Thich means that less air is incorporated in the process, giving it a distinctively dense texture. Ice cream is lighter in the sense that it is more ‘fluffy’ because of the incorporated air, but creamier because of the eggs yolks and cream. Gelato can be described as silky, soft, and very flavour-intense. Gelato is served at a slightly warmer temperature than ice cream.

Italian Favourites: 

  • Stracciatella (fior-de-latte gelato with chocolate chunks / shards)
  • Hazelnut
  • Tiramisu
  • Amarena Cherries (smaller, slightly sour cherries)

My favourite is pistachio. (pronounce Pi-stuck-kio by Italians)

The Best Gelato Yet….

In the beautiful little town of San Gimignano, in the heart of Tuscany, there is a gelato store called Gelateria Dondoli (also known as the Gelateria di Piazza). It is situated in Piazza della Cisterna and is well known all over the world. The reason for this is because its gelato has been voted the best in Italy a few years ago. They have traditional and also unusual and exciting flavours of gelato. 

Gelato in Italy

The master gelato maker is Sergio Dondoli. Some of his first flavours have now become very famous and popular. These flavours include Champelmo ® (pink grapefruit and sparkling wine), Crema di Santa Fina ® (cream with saffron and pine nuts) and Dolceamaro ® (cream with aromatic herbs), to name but a few. His gelato is always made with fresh, high quality ingredients, preferable locally sourced and contains no preservatives. The milk used in Gelateria Dondoli comes from ten cows that the shop has adopted at a farm close to the store.  The milk is 100% organic and free from antibiotics.

Gelato in Italy

Sergio Dondoli has won many awards for his gelato making skills and is really a master in this art.

The queue was about 30 meters long when we got there. My mom was there on a very busy day the year before and the queue was about 100 meters long. There were so many flavour options to choose from, but because of their fame, and because most people visiting the town wants a scoop or two, they make sure you don’t take too long to choose a flavour. They don’t allow you to admire the store, or um and ah about the flavours. You get a few seconds to choose a flavour, pay for and only then you can comment on what you have just experienced. It was very crowded inside and the staff were very impatience, but after one bite I completely forgot how flustered I felt.  

I had a scoop of Raspberry Baby® (raspberry and rosemary) and a scoop of eggnog. It was delectable, smooth and I if the queue was not so long and our schedule jam-packed, I would have gone back for more. I can really recommend visiting this little Gelateria with a massive reputation.  

More Pasta! More Gelato!

One of our tour guides that we spent quite some time with walking along Rome, told us that we should walk as much as possible during our stay in Italy. We should do it for the pasta and the gelato. She said: “More pasta, more gelato!”. That became our motto for the rest of our trip.

I visited many gelato parlours all over Rome, Tuscany, Sorrento and Florence. Some experiences were phenomenal, some were average, but never once did I regret it. After all, you’re only in Italy once. 😉 

So, my aim was to eat gelato each day. Did I succeed? Unfortunately not. I think I might have skipped a few days by accident, but I made up for it by eating gelato for breakfast just before my flight back home. 

Gelato in Italy
The last gelato was eaten for breakfast.

FreshBag Reusable Fruit and Veg Bags

FreshBag Fruit and Veggie Bag

What’s New In My Kitchen: FreshBag Reusable Fruit & Vegetable Bags

As I have mentioned in the post on reusable coffee cups, reducing our house’s wastage and carbon footprint has become a hobby of mine. Luckily, my husband completely supports and shares my sentiment. 

Unfortunately, in Nigeria wastage and rubbish is a big (more like COLOSSAL) problem. Single-use plastic bags are still distributed at no cost and hardly anyone reuses any plastic, whether it is the plastic bag they got when they were at the supermarket, or the better quality plastic container their takeaway lunch was in. They give out a plastic bag for everything, including a single lollipop. 

But, this is not just a problem in Nigeria. As you know it is a global dilemma, and we need to do better in terms of taking are of this planet and all of its beautiful creatures. 

Stepping Up My Game

I take grocery bags with me when I go shopping. I have also gotten into the habit of taking my reusable coffee cup with me. This year I have decided to step it up, I’ve bought reusable straws and reusable fruit and veggie bags to get my fresh produce weighed and transported in. 

FreshBag Fruit and Veggie Bag

About FreshBag

I came across a local (South African) company that manufacture reusable plastic bags.  FreshBag’s main purpose is to help reduce the planet’s plastic bag usage / wastage, but they are also committed to creating jobs within South Africa. FreshBag boasts with being ethical (paying their workers not just a minimum wage, but a living wage), and they pledge to creating sustainable business practices for all involved in their business. 

There are a few sizes available and these drawstring bags come in two materials, namely nylon mesh and cotton. A bought a few mesh bags to take with when I go shopping in and around Lagos where a lot of fresh produce is not pre-packaged and you can choose your own. Yes, plastic free transportation and display is great, but ONLY if you refuse to make use of the single-use plastic bags that are free for you to roll off. This is where the FreshBag reusable fruit & veg bags come in handy.

Fresh Produce in Lagos

At first it was a bit strange taking out these reusable bags when I chose fruits and vegetables, and of course the stares never get less, but I have gotten used to it by now. I hope that my actions will trigger a conversation and I might be able to inform someone of the damaging effects of plastic. 

FreshBag Fruit and Veggie Bag

What I think…

Pros:

  • Reusable.
  • Lightweight and can fit into your handbag / reusable shopping bags.
  • Easy to clean – rinse in water or wash in the washing machine on a cold cycle.
  • Supporting a local small business with sustainable business practices. 
  • The mesh bags are see-through, so they can easily be stored and their contents be spotted in the fridge. 
  • FreshBag also manufactures cotton bags specifically made for the buying and storing of bread and dried goods. 

Cons: 

  • The sticker with the price does not stick well onto the mesh bags, but I just hand the price sticker to the cashier separately. 
  • These bags are not large enough for buying in bulk, so you will need many bags if you know you are buying large quantities of fruits and vegetables.

FreshBag Fruit and Veggie Bag

FreshBag Fruit and Veggie Bag

FreshBag Fruit and Veggie Bag

Christmas Is Around The Corner

These reusable bags are great for alternative Christmas presents, or even for ‘wrapping’ your gifts instead of wrapping paper ending up in the bin. 

You can view FreshBag reusable bags on their website, and order via email (contact details on their website) or Facebook. They offer nationwide delivery.  

FreshBag Fruit and Veggie Bag

FreshBag Fruit and Veggie Bag

Reusable Stainless Steel Straws

EcoLife Reusable Stainless Steel Straws

I recently bought a set of eight reusable stainless steel straws with two cleaner brushes. These are neatly packed into a little black velvet draw-string bag.

There are four longer straws, two of them slightly curved, and four shorter straws of which two are also slightly curved.  CONTINUE READING