Tag Archives: Gelato

Museo del Cibo – Visit the Carpigiani Gelato Museum

This week the Florence Gelato Festival was the subject of a misunderstanding or evidence that Mayor Renzi does not have his eye on what’s happening in Florence. The Festival was scheduled to run from May 17 to 26, then at the last minute the Mayor’s Office declared that this was too long and was taking up too much valuable space, taking all of the participating gelaterias by surprise. The organizers of the Festival took the city to court and prevailed, so the festival will run until next Sunday. Check the official website for more information.

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One of the major participants in the Festival is Carpigiani, the largest manufacturer of equipment for gelaterias, restaurants and other businesses, as well as for in-home use. Tuscan Traveler enjoyed a few days at Carpigiani’s Gelato University a couple of years ago and is happy to announce that the Carpigiani Gelato Museum has joined the pantheon of food museums in Italy. (Also see here and here.)

Carpigiani Gelato Museum near Bologna
Carpigiani Gelato Museum near Bologna

The Gelato Museum is innovative, dedicated to the study, documentation, and dissemination of the history, values, and culture of artisan gelato, a beloved treat (or rather, necessity) that represents Italian excellence and creativity throughout the world. (Carpigiani has the company goal of taking gelato to every corner of the earth.)

“The objective of the Carpigiani Gelato Museum is to highlight the roots and history of this quality food and the gelato artisans that produce it, bringing excellence, creativity, and flavor to customers worldwide,” said Romano Verardi, President of the Bruto and Poerio Carpigiani Foundation. “We are pleased that this initiative came together just a short time after the official establishment of the European Gelato Day.” (The EU has named March 24 as the annual European Day of Artisan Gelato, first celebrated in 2013.)

1958 One of the first soft serve Carpigiani gelato vans
1958 One of the first soft serve Carpigiani gelato vans

The thousand square meter museum space was created in the current Carpigiani headquarters near Bologna. The complex is built around a central garden that connects the various areas of the building, including showrooms and the Carpigiani Gelato Museum, itself.

The museum features an interactive tour that highlights three principal themes regarding gelato: the evolution of gelato over time, the history of production technology, and the places and ways to consume gelato. More than twenty original machines are on display, along with multimedia presentations, 10,000 historical images and documents, accessories and tools of the trade from ages past, and workshops.

Antique tin boxes for storing gelato cones
Antique tin boxes for storing gelato cones

“The Gelato Museum fulfills the dream of our founders, Bruto and Poerio Carpigiani, the two Bolognese brothers who made it their job to spread gelato technology, culture, and business throughout the world,” says Andrea Cocchi, General Manager of the Carpigiani Group. “The challenge is now to reaffirm the historical memory of our roots so as to strengthen our future, leading us to progress, innovate, and expand our culture.”

The museum has gathered a number of audio-visual testimonies from people who have played a key role in the history of gelato.  Gelato’s place in history is recognized by UNESCO as part of the world’s nutritional heritage.

The Carpigiani Gelato Museum is located along the highway to Milan at Via Emilia 45, in Anzola dell’Emilia, Bologna.

Open Monday to Saturday, tickets free with guided tour, reservation required.

Information and reservations: www.gelatomuseum.org – +39 051 6505306 – info@fondazionecarpigiani.it

Learning labs at the Gelato Museum for children
Learning labs at the Gelato Museum for children

If you are in the Bologna area for more than a few hours take part in tasty gelato lessons after visiting the museum. Choose the experience that entices you most and enter the world of artisan gelato. The activities are conducted by the instructors of Carpigiani Gelato University, the most prestigious gelato school in the world. Check out the website here for the family events and the small group classes at the Gelato Museum ranging from a one hour tour with gelato tasting (5 euro per person), to a two hour tour with hands-on gelato making lesson, gelato tasting, certificate and group photo (10 euro per person, ten person minimum), to the fabulous four-hour tour, gelato theory lesson, hands-on gelato class to create your own flavor, gelato tasting, certificate and group photo (35 euro per person (min. two participants, max. six participants).

There are also shorter duration classes designed especially for children. See here for details.

Mille Miglia pit stop for gelato
Mille Miglia pit stop for gelato

Just a couple of weeks ago, Carpigiani played host for a few hours to one of Tuscan Traveler’s favorite all-Italy events: The Mille Miglia Antique Car Endurance Road Race. See the video here.

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Italian Food Rules: The BookItalian Life Rules (the book) is coming in Summer 2014. Italian Food Rules by Ann Reavis is available now. You can buy Italian Food Rules by using these links:

Amazon. com (U.S.) eBook for Kindle & Kindle Apps

Amazon. com (U.S.) paperback

Amazon.co.uk (United Kingdom)

Amazon.it (Italy)

Amazon.de (Germany)

Amazon.fr (France)

Barnes & Noble (U.S.) eBook for Nook

Mangia! Mangia! – Sherbeth Festival in Sicily

By now even a glance at TuscanTraveler.com (see here, here, here and here) will tell you of a greater than average interest in gelato. Imagine my distress to find that I would not be able to be in Cefalú on the north coast of Sicily for the fifth annual Sherbeth Festival.

If you love gelato and especially sorbetto and are traveling to Sicily in mid-September, head straight to Cefalú for four days of ice cream heaven.

Cefalu's Sherbeth Festival 2011
Cefalú Sherbeth Festival 2011

From September 15 to 18, the historic center of the town will be transformed into the Gelato Village.

Whereas Florence (and Catherine de’Medici) lays claim to the creation of milk-based Italian gelato, Sicily fights for the honor of sorbetto, a divine combination of fruit, sugar and water. Sherbeth is an Arab word that became sorbetto in Italian (and sherbet when I was growing up in New Mexico).

Mango sorbetto will be a favorite at the Sherbeth Festival
Mango sorbetto will be a favorite at the Sherbeth Festival

The Romans say Emperor Nero started the craze by having his slaves carry buckets of ice and snow down to him from the Appian Way. But the Turks and the Chinese also had sherbeth frozen fruit desserts and Marco Polo is claimed to have carried the idea back from his travels. Certainly Sicily got the inspiration from the Arabs.

Here would be my idea of a perfect September day in Cefalú: In the morning, you can walk Cefalú’s sandy beach, one of the best in Sicily (burning off some calories in preparation for the rest of the day), and swim in the clear, warm sea (mid-70s).

Or you can begin as you mean to go on and order a typical Sicilian summer breakfast, a sweet brioche with gelato inside. (See Joe Ray’s WSJ post that describes the experience perfectly.)

Sicilian breakfast of sorbetto in brioche
Sicilian breakfast of sorbetto in brioche

Finish off the morning wandering the narrow streets with buildings displaying Arab, Norman and Byzantine influences, seeing the impressive Duomo, and then heading to the Corte delle Stelle and along the waterfront to indulge yourself at 35 Sicilian and international artisanal gelateria stands, savoring their hand-made sorbetto.

Stop by Carpigiani Gelato University’s gelato school and take a class in how to make sherbeth. Carpigiani is providing the equipment at a central production lab for all of the gelato makers where they will create their own proprietary recipes for the delight of the expected crowds.

Fruit flavors reign, but try chocolate sherbeth, too
Fruit flavors reign, but try chocolate sherbeth, too

Under the stars, a final gelato in hand, on my perfect September day, I would take in the wide variety of musical and other entertainment provided by Sorbeth Festival 2011 in Cefalú.

Gelato tourism has to be coming soon. Sign me up!

Mangia! Mangia! – Gelato Crostini Anyone?

One of the highlights of this summer was an invitation to spend two days at Carpigiani Gelato University, located just outside Bologna, on the historic Via Emilia, between Lavino di Mezzo and Anzola dell’Emilia.

48 hours of just thinking about gelato and, of course, tasting flavor after flavor of sorbet, semifreddo, granita, frozen yogurt, soft-serve, as well as, traditional Italian gelato.

Gelato Maestro Luigi Perrucci
Gelato Maestro Luigi Perrucci

At the Gelato Lab, Carpigiani’s freestanding high-tech gelateria, two brand new flavors of gelato were introduced to the world on July 20 during the presentation of the 2011 Gelato Pioneers (more about this later).

The two fascinating flavors were created by Gelato Maestro Luigi Perrucci in the Gelato Lab’s research and experimentation kitchen, using the most innovative of Carpigiani’s gelato and soft-serve machines.

Mortadella Gelato Crostini
Mortadella Gelato Crostini

The crowd cheered as a tray of Mortadella Gelato “crostini” was presented. Mortadella is one of Bologna’s most famous foods, dating back five hundred years. Maestro Luigi chose to serve his mortadella gelato on a small round slice of bread and top it with a shaving of Parmesan cheese, a squiggle of balsamic vinegar and bit of shredded lettuce.

Made with a sorbet base, the pink gelato offered a true mortadella flavor without any fatty mouthfeel or aftertaste. The bread, balsamic, Parmesan and lettuce made it the perfect sandwich, albeit an icy cold one.

Balsamic Vinegar Gelato came from the soft serve machine
Balsamic Gelato from the soft serve machine

For dessert, Maestro Luigi offered a Balsamic Vinegar Soft Serve Gelato. Of the palest purple in color, made with a milk and egg base, the delightful swirl of gelato was sweet with a slight tangy aftertaste.

Balsamic vinegar is not vinegar per se. It begins with late-harvest grapes (usually white Trebbiano) grown near Modena. Traditional balsamic vinegar is thick and sweet and very very expensive.

Balsamic Vinegar Soft Serve
Balsamic Vinegar Soft Serve

Carpigiani is known for pushing the envelop of the tradition Italian gelato experience. The company seeks to bring Italian gelato to the whole world. Mortadella gelato may not find its way into any gelateria on a regular basis (except for perhaps Humphry Slocombe in San Francisco and on the Food Channel’s Iron Chef), but the balsamic vinegar soft serve is a keeper.