The secret to a good hand-crafted gelato – characteristics and preparation methods

The secret to a good hand-crafted gelato – characteristics and preparation methods

The increasing popularity of hand-made gelato in Italy shows just how much Italians spend on and appreciate genuine, quality products as opposed to industrial ones, manufactured on a large scale.

Indeed, every year a lot of new hand-made gelato parlours are opening up, both in Italy and elsewhere.

One key part of a hand-made gelato shop is a good production workshop: having top-quality machinery means you can keep producing quality gelato, to meet the demands of various type of customer.

When it comes to gelato production, the following important issues must be borne in mind:

  •  The technological evolution of production tools, which makes it ever quicker to produce gelato with top-quality organoleptic characteristics
     
  • There are opportunities for profit, given the fairly low running costs, which mean that in a fairly short space of time you will be able to recoup the investment needed to purchase the machinery and production equipment. That is of course true if you can come up with a well-structured product range and run all of the production phases with due care and attention, from purchasing the right equipment to calculating operating costs;
     
  • Technical knowledge is easy to acquire even if you don’t yet have any experience in the sector – there are lots of different courses provided both by trade associations and training providers. On top of that, the increasingly cutting-edge production machinery available makes it possible to start up a gelato parlour even if you are lacking the right amount of experience in the sector.

 Production method

The preparation and production process in one's own workshop is conditioned by a series of factors or variables:

  • Whether daily production for each flavour can be predicted
  • Whether ingredients are available and can be stored
  • Storage of mixes and finished gelatos at the right temperatures
  • The equipment used for preparing, producing and storing gelato.

Provided that you have some well-balanced recipes, the production process begins by carefully weighing the ingredients according to the instructions so that you can get the balance just right for your customers.

As a general rule, gelato production equipment is made up of an emulsifier mixer, combo machines (hot and cold) that perform the basic functions of pasteurization and batch freezing, but especially the pasteurizer (and occasionally maturation vats), a discontinuous batch freezer, while you might also wish to use a blast chiller.

Methods of preparation

The preparation methods change according to the type and quantity of flavours needed and the quantity of each individual product used during the gelato-making process

For gelato flavours which have a specific recipe, the main equipment used is as follows:

  • an emulsifier mixer, a combo machine (hot and cold) or just a batch freezer, as well as the occasional blast chiller.

For a limited number of flavours in a limited quantity:

  • an emulsifier mixer, a combo machine, a pasteurizing machine and/or just a batch freezer, as well as the occasional blast chiller.

For an average number of flavours and average quantity of product:

  • an emulsifier mixer, a pasteurizing machine, a batch freezer, (or combo machine), and – where applicable – a blast chiller
  • two bases (white and fruit)
  • characterizing ingredients (fruit, pastes, etc.)
  • corrections (where applicable), sugars, cream, milk, water, etc.
  • sauces and ripples (cream, chocolate, etc.)

For various flavours and large quantities of product:

  • an emulsifier mixer, a pasteurizing machine, vats, batch freezers, and sometimes a blast chiller
  • different bases: white, yellow, chocolate, fruit
  • characterizing ingredients (fruit, pastes, etc.)
  • corrections (where applicable), sugars, cream, milk, water, etc.
  • sauces and ripples (cream, chocolate, etc.)

 

The secret to a good hand-crafted gelato – characteristics and preparation methods
Sezioni
Up Arrow