Saturday, December 12, 2009

Gelato making: 101

Back in September, a group here on campus called the ResGrads ran a trip to a local gelateria where we were able to see how gelato is made. The ResGrads are a group of resident students who live in Rome and go to the American University, and each semester they run a bunch of trips and activities for AUR students.

They took us to Fior de Luna, the only organic gelateria in Rome. It's located in Trastevere, right off of Viale Trastevere and a short walk from Santa Maria in Trastevere.

Getting ready for the demonstration. On the left is the sugar that they mix with their cocoa powder

Tons of cocoa

Mixing the mixture together

Even though this mix wasn't actually gelato yet, we got to taste it before it went into the machine

It was delicious -- it basically tasted like very fresh chocolate syrup

Then that mixture went in to the machine to be made into gelato

While we waited for it to be finished, the owner gave us more background about gelato. Although they may seem the same, gelato and ice cream are very different. Gelato contains significantly less butterfat than ice cream, and it also has less overrun (volume.) This means that there is less air in gelato and this causes it to have a creamier, denser texture than ice cream. Gelato is also stored at a higher temperature, so it's texture is more creamy and soft, yet still firm.

Before we knew it, the chocolate gelato was ready


Another tasting was in order

The result? Heaven in a cup. The chocolate flavor was so strong and the texture was perfect...and knowing that it was organic made me feel less guilty about demolishing it (sort of.)

Some other facts about Fior de Luna...every ingredient used in making their gelato is organic, and every type of gelato is made fresh daily. They do not save gelato from the day before and serve it the next day -- they make their gelato in smaller batches so they won't have waste at the end of the day. Fior de Luna also doesn't serve their gelato in cones -- the owner said it's because ice cream cones aren't organic, and also because the cone would take away from the flavor and experience of the gelato (I've been to a few other gelaterias here who have a similar practice.)

Since the demonstration, I've been back to Fior de Luna twice, and each time was just as amazing as the first. My favorite flavor that I've tried is their arancia cioccolato (orange chocolate) amazing! That is perhaps my new favorite gelato flavor in general. :)


Anonymous said...

I think I would like to try the chocolate-orange....