Monday, June 22, 2009

What is Italy without Gelato?

Once cannot visit Italy without becoming addicted to the gelato here. Gelato is the Italian word for ice cream, and it is much different than our North American version. Here is a little lingo
Gelato - is the singular form of ice cream, so I will have a cup or cone of gelato
Gelati - is the name in plural, so I will walk the city in search of gelati.
Gelateria - is the name of an establishment that sells gelati

I have felt it was my duty to forge the path and test gelato whenever possible, while here in Verona. This means, that I must test different flavors, and of course, different gelaterias. Of course, this has been over the course of four trips to Verona, and I only allow myself a cone or cup of gelato if I have been faithful to walking, and if I skip lunch or come up with some other means to justify the indulgence.

I have narrowed down the list of great gelaterias in Verona, but there is one that stands out. The name of the business is Gelateria Artigianale Ponte Pietra, and it is located in a wonderful little neighborhood at the foot of the Ponte Pietra (bridge). You know you are getting close to the gelateria as you will pass people holding cones or cups of gelato. All have this wonderful content look on their face. It is a secret language.

Gelateria Artigianale Ponte Pietra
Via Ponte Pietra, 23
37121 Verona
340 4717294

Gelateria Artiginale is owned and run by two brothers; Mirko and Stefano. They have owned the business for the past ten years. Stefano makes the ice cream, and Mirko oversees the running of the gelateria, dealing with the public.

Each day, Stefano begins to make the gelato at 7 a.m., and continues his work until about 3:30. He has developed his own recipes, and flavors which include pistachio, nut, vanilla, cream, various fruit flavors, chocolate (in various forms), yogurt, and so on. In a typical summer day, he may make up twenty-two flavors, and the gelateria can sell up to forty containers (which is a LOT of gelato). Some of the gelati have a topping of some sort, (for example, a syrup). Some have additional ingredients mixed in with the cream (such as fresh fruit, coconut flakes, chocolate chips, etc.). I have grown fond of the yogurt version which has a blueberry sauce on top, and is sprinkled with a type of granola.

The price of gelato in Italy generally ranges from 1 to 1-1/2 Euro for a single scoop (currently about $1.50 to $2.25 in U.S. dollars). As you add scoops, the price goes up. You can choose if you want your gelato to be served in a cup (which you eat with a small gelato spoon), or if you want a cone. I have found that the size of the scoop varies from gelateria to gelateria, and the closer you get to the main Piazza’s of the city, (i.e. the tourist districts), the higher the price, and the smaller the scoop. This, I must say, is what first impressed me with Gelateria Artiginale Ponte Pietra. Their single scoops of gelato were larger than most shops double-scoops. But the real draw, was not the amount of gelato, but the flavors that were offered, and the taste. As I have said, it became my goal to become a connoisseur of gelato. I believe my Italian title would be “una intenditrice del gelato”.

Below are some images taken in the gelateria. I am hoping to see how it is made, and If I am able to do so, I shall report.
~Susanna~ (while in Italy)

cones.. and gelati spoons..

and of course... two happy customers


Marcia Silva said...

In Sao Paulo we find a lot of "Gelateria" Gelato and also Parmalat, but not so much here in San Diego. Parmalat does not even exist here...what a pity!!

Mi Zu said...

We just went there yesterday. Ice cream was reasonable not too sweet and relatively cheap. But there are better ones in the city. Like Amorino. It is stylish and in a more expensive location, but the flavors are richer and without any artificial flavour and colors.