Hey, it’s Memorial Day and the unofficial start to summer. That means it’s time for ice cream, or for this chef, gelato.
Let’s discuss what I call real ice cream. And yes, there is a difference.
Ice cream legally has a minimum of 10 percent fat; gelato is made with a greater proportion of whole milk to cream, so it contains at least 5 to 7 percent fat.
Another huge fact is that gelato has about 30 percent air, compared to ice cream at 50 percent air. It all has to do with the churning method.
The visual texture of gelato should look more like whipped cream or frozen yogurt. Just think about it. When you walk into a gelateria, you look at some of the most beautiful displays in the world. Each gelato is decorated differently with fresh fruits, nuts, syrups and other items on top.
As for your average ice cream store, the ice cream sits in gallon containers. Really nothing else. And remember, most of that is air.
Just think about it. Gelato tastes better than ice cream. Why, because it has less fat in it, the lower fat content doesn’t saturate your taste buds as much.
Also, it is not served frozen like ice cream. Because it’s warmer, you can actually taste the flavor.
There are many more differences that we can go on and on about , but being raised in an Italian family I am just used to great gelato.
For this chef it’s all about flavor. Did I mention authenticity?
Historians believe that it was discovered over 2,000 years ago, in ancient Rome and Egypt.
My cousin, Jasper “Reno” Mirabile, owns and operates a gelateria in Sicily and insists that gelato was invented over 2,500 years ago in Sicily.
He also claims that Sicilians make the best. I would have to agree with him, since I have visited his shop in Sicily and tasted not only his gelato but, his granite, another fantastic screamer.
Last summer I took my wife and daughter to Italy and the temperatures reached over 100 degrees each day. In my book, that means one thing — gelato.
So for 14 days, we were on the “Gelato Trail.” We visited more than 20 gelaterias, from Rome to Florence, then to Venice and down to Naples. Not to argue with my cousin in Sicily, but I will say I did have some very fine gelato in Rome that was very memorable.
So my friends, for you, I offer my favorite recipe for gelato. Of course, if you know me, I always think Cannoli gelato to be the absolute best flavor when homemade.
Enjoy the summer, stay cool and make sure you get your full of gelato. Life is too short … eat gelato.Cousin Reno’s Cannoli Gelato 6 cups of whole milk 1 1/2 cups of sugar 12 egg yolks beaten 1 pound Ricotta cheese 4 drops cinnamon oil 4 ounces of Hershey Chocolate bar minced 1 cup candied fruit minced 30 shelled pistachio minced
In a large saucepan combined egg yolks, 3 cups of milk and sugar. Cook and whisk over very low heat until mixture sticks to the metal utensil. Be very careful not to cook the eggs. Remove from heat and gradually mix in the remaining 3 cups of milk and cinnamon oil. Cover and chill. Freeze mixture in a 5 quart ice cream maker according to manufacturers directions. During the last 5 minutes of churning add ricotta, chocolate, pistachio and candied fruit.
Chef Jasper Mirabile of Jasper’s commands the helm of his family’s 59-year-old restaurant, consistently rated one of Kansas City’s best Italian restaurants. In addition to running the restaurant with his brother, Mirabile is a culinary instructor, founding member of Slow Food Kansas City and a national board member of the American Institute of Wine and Food. He hosts many famous chefs on his weekly radio show Live! From Jasper’s Kitchen on KCMO 710 AM and 103.7 FM and sells a line of dressings and sauces.