Everyone knows how good Italian gelato is! But when made by a small family business that really cares about quality it is really good for you too.
I’ve posted before,about L’Antica Latteria my local cheese shop and dairy; they also make one of the very best gelato in Viterbo (maybe in the region). This week students from USAC cuisine course were invited to see the gelato being made – and to taste it, just out of the machine. Roberto who co-owns the business with his sister, Paola, told us about the procedure. For the basic cream mix, a mixture of milk, cream, milk powder and sugar are mixed and heated (pasteurised) to 95° C, then rapidly cooled to 4° C. This is the base for all cream-type gelato except chocolate where the chocolate is mixed and pasteurised with the other ingredients. The machine will maintain a temperature of 4° C until the mixture is needed to make the gelato.
To make the most simple fior di latte (literally flowers of the milk), more cream is added and the sugar adjusted. This is then poured into a second machine (Roberto’s machine is only 3 months old and cost a staggering €30,000) and frozen and whipped to add air – the correct mix has 30% air to give that amazing sensation in the mouth. For fruit gelato he uses fresh fruit in season and sometimes adds a small quantity of highly concentrated fruit syrups, to intensify the flavour, and sugar – so a fruit gelato is really good for you so no need to deprive yourself!
In summer They make a quintale of gelato a day – that’s 100 kg or 240 lbs; this figure has already dropped to just 15 kg a day and Roberto will stop making gelato when the weather becomes cold. When asked how much gelato he ate, Roberto responded that he usually had at least one a day, sometimes he will buy coffee from a local bar and add the gelato to that – now there’s an idea!