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My love for Italian Gelato



Before my trip to Italy last summer there were many things that I was looking forward to. The coliseum, Vatican, leaning tower of Pisa, and the 5 little villages of the cinque terre were all on the list. But one thing that I had been looking forward to, perhaps more so than the famous tourist attractions, was something that my foodie side was obsessing over and could not control. Gelato.
I had first heard of this Italian delight when I was planning and researching every last tidbit of our trip – I was, after all, our travel agent, hotel/car booker, plane ticket purchaser and Ms. tour guide Extraordinaire! I kept coming up against people claiming that you could not ‘go to Italy’ if you do not have gelato. I didn’t comprehend it at first…its just ice-cream right? What’s so special about it? Regardless I made a mental note to try it out. I was a bit excited about this and told my sister about this marvelous thing called ‘gelato’. My sister committed a MAJOR bubble burst by informing me that she had already tried gelato, and that it wasn’t anything impressive. Consider my bubble burst. I decided to not get my hopes on it. Have it just be another something to do when in Rome. Yah. That’s right. I went there. Horribly cheesy pun. :)



Then I came upon a website that I swear to god helped me plan this trip in a way I never would have been able to! And after all her advice on everything from how to drive in Italy to best shopping locations, I stumbled onto a page where she dedicated an entire page on gelato. She claimed that when you are in Italy, you must ENSURE that you have at least 1 scoop of gelato a day. At this point I was quite intrigued, and the foodie side of me could not withstand this deviously delicious dare. So. I accepted. And boy am I glad I did.



When I got to Rome the first thing I did was go get gelato. Actually, that’s a lie. Our connecting red-eye flight arrived at 7:00am Rome time. 3 am Ottawa time. The first thing I did when I got to my air conditioned hotel room with a beautiful view of the legendary Rome? I went to sleep. Cause that’s how I roll baby. I ended up waking up 6 hrs later with drool and pillow marks all over my face, to my sister gently waking me up. (Ok, in reality she may have been poking me with her eyeliner telling me to get up. I believe there was quite a bit of ‘ewww’ and ‘ you are sooo gross’ and ‘you’re such a loser! Totally posting this on facebook”.) Though I digress, I prefer the former statement. Anywho, after that we went off to dinner and THEN we went to a gelateria. And that is where I had my first taste of heaven. It was pistachio. Mmmm pistachio.


So, for those of you who wonder, what’s the difference between ice cream and gelato, allow me to clarify. Ice –cream is made of cream and gelato of milk. But what makes it so amazing is that it is much creamier and much tastier. If you have a flavor, such as pistachio, it is as if you have stuck a fistful of pistachios in your mouth. The flavor is so very intense, I was originally very surprised. In fact, I was so surprised that I kept saying, “oh my god. It tastes like pistachios. It…it really tastes like pistachios. You don’t understand. Its not like it tastes sort of like pistachios. It TASTES OF PISTACHIO.” I’ll admit. I got a lot of weird looks. I bet those Italians that were laying around at their local gelateria on a warm Sunday evening in August, were wondering to themselves who this crazy tourist is. What should Pistachio Gelato taste like? Grapes? Is the poor child mentally challenged? I won’t lie. I got some overly sympathetic looks.


But yes, I am happy to say that I got a scoop of gelato every day (some days 2-5). From Nutella flavor to chocolate to kiwi, watermelon, cantaloupe and tiramisu. It’s truly amazing how many different types of flavors there are.
Anywho, on to this recipe. I stumbled on to this recipe for raspberry gelato over a month ago, which not only didn’t need an ice-cream maker to make but only had 3 ingredients! I just had to try it. Only I didn’t have raspberries. But I did have a bunch of kiwis. It was really yummy and OH MY GOD GUYS. It TASTED like KIWI. For REAL. Like. Like it was like I had kiwi in my mouth. Like. For serious.

Kiwi Gelato
(adapted from here)
300g (10oz) frozen kiwi (I just peeled and chopped kiwis and put them in a freezer)
1/2C (approx 70g or 2 1/2oz) sugar or to taste
1/2C double cream (48% milk fat minimum)


Place all ingredients in a food processor and whizz until you have a smooth creamy mixture that looks like soft gelato. Taste and add extra sugar if you think it needs it.

Freeze for a few hours or enjoy pronto.


Recipe Review:
So, I thought this tasted REALLYYYY good. My only problem with it was it would NOT stiff up. Of course I probably should have left it in the freezer a bit more, but I couldn’t wait ok? I just had to have it! The flavor was amazing but a bit slushy. But I didn’t mind too much :) I will definitely make it again, just tweak it a bit…maybe add a LITTLE bit more fruit and freeze longer.
Recipe rating: 7/10 stars (only cause I need to freeze it longer!)


kirbie  – (February 8, 2010 at 2:31 PM)  

I love your description of your reaction when you tasted gelato. I felt the same way the first time I sampled pistachio gelato. Your recipe seems so easy, though where did you buy the cream from?

Gala  – (February 8, 2010 at 3:17 PM)  

What a great story! It sounds delicious and good job on making it without an ice cream machine.

Zahra  – (February 8, 2010 at 4:30 PM)  

Kirbie - I just used regular whipping cream ...its 35% :)

Rina  – (February 9, 2010 at 12:48 AM)  

A bit confused. In your definition you said that gelato is made with milk & ice cream is made with cream. In your recipe Cream is the ingredient, not milk. So is this in fact a recipe for Kiwi ice cream rather than gelato? There is an ice cream shop near our place that makes kiwi gelato when kiwis are in season & it is my favorite. I am hoping that this recipe will be close to the same thing so I won't have to wait for it to be in season or pay $3 a scoop! Thanks for sharing

Tina  – (February 9, 2010 at 4:25 AM)  

OMG! That looks so delicious! I love hommade italian ice cream.

Zahra  – (February 9, 2010 at 10:42 AM)  

Rina- I know what you mean! I was a bit surprised at first too...I mean...gelato is supposed to be made of milk...but i *think* that maybe with an ice cream maker the milk turns into cream and the cream turns into whipped cream? but since you use the blender you start with cream? get it? lol I might be completely wrong, but thats how I justified it to myself :P

Greg  – (February 9, 2010 at 2:56 PM)  

Kiwi Ice cream... or gelato I guess. That sounds great! I even have some fresh cream from our trip to the dairy. Thanks!

Anonymous –   – (February 11, 2010 at 4:06 PM)  

Hello!

This recipe sounded absolutely delish. :) I tried making it with a big mango instead (and used about 11 ounces of chopped mango). However, after I tasted it I noticed that it is WAY too sweet. So I went back and looked at your recipe, and compared it to the raspberry gelato recipe that you adapted it from. The original recipe says to use

<<1/3C (approx 70g or 2 1/2oz) sugar or to taste>>

Your recipe says to use:
<<1/2C (approx 70g or 2 1/2oz) sugar or to taste>>

So, same weight as the original recipe, but you accidentally typed 1/2 instead of 1/3. :) I actually think 1/4 cup (2oz) would be even better, because whew, this is REALLY way too sweet. Also, I noticed a gritty texture from the sugar so next time I might use powdered sugar to eliminate the grittiness.

But all-in-all, a great idea. I can't wait to try this with kiwis when they aren't so expensive at the supermarket.

Zahra  – (February 11, 2010 at 7:03 PM)  

To Anonymous (come on girl! (or boy) give me a name to talk to...:P)

I didnt make a mistake per say I just adjusted the recipe for the kiwis. Raspberries are naturally sweeter than kiwis thus less sugar. I dont know about the kiwis near you but ours are a tad sour so it needed more sugar.

For Mangoes (especially ripe ones) They naturally have more sugar and therefore need a lot less sugar :)

its all about experimentation! Glad you enjoyed it! I really liked it too! Did yours end up getting firm enough?

Santhiya  – (April 22, 2011 at 1:34 AM)  

Great thoughts you got there, believe I may possibly try just some of it throughout my daily life.


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