A hand-made gelato is never out of season!

A hand-made gelato is never out of season!

The cold of winter is approaching, but hand-made gelato is something for consumers to enjoy all year round. Surprise your customer’s taste buds by coming up with flavours that vary with the seasons – that is the main goal of every gelato parlour aiming to satisfy and retain its customers.

Here are a few suggestions of flavours specifically designed for customers who appreciate gelato all year round, even at home during winter.

Chocolate

A classic flavour that no gelato parlour can do without, chocolate comes from the cacao tree, cultivated by the Mayan civilisation as long ago as 1000 BC. Once they have been harvested from the cacao tree, the beans are fermented and roasted to extract the precious cocoa butter, from which chocolate or cocoa powder is made. Chocolate gelato can be made either with pure chocolate, for a softer, creamier gelato, or with cocoa for a more intense flavour and thicker consistency. Chocolate goes well with a wide variety of other hand-made gelatos, including liqueur or cream flavours, but it is also perfect with tropical fruit flavours.

Grapefruit

A typical winter fruit, grapefruit is the perfect ingredient for making a thirst-quenching gelato that is full of vitamins. When choosing a grapefruit, a gelato craftsman needs to check that the texture is firm and intact, and that its scent is light and refreshing. As with all citrus fruits, making hand-made grapefruit gelato means cutting the fruit in half and squeezing out the juice, then stirring it in carefully with syrup and water until creamy. Hand-made grapefruit gelato goes perfectly with fruit flavours, but try it too in combination with chocolate. To add originality to your gelato parlour, use grapefruit for making sorbets, granitas or fruit-based cocktails. 

Soy

In order to meet the needs of all consumers, even in winter you will still need to produce some hand-made soy gelato. Soy is the perfect alternative for all those gelato-lovers who are intolerant to gluten or lactose or who want to watch their figure while still enjoying the taste of a good hand-made gelato. With its delicate flavour and silky texture, hand-made soy gelato can be mixed with various essences to create a wide variety of flavours and thus meet the demands of those customers who refuse to let their eating disorder get in the way of enjoying a hand-made gelato.

Lemon

Lemon is a simple, lightweight flavour for a hand-made gelato, a must in any quality gelato parlour. The best lemons are found in winter, between December and January and between March and April, whereas in summer the fruits are not quite as juicy. Make sure you know how to choose the best lemons from their appearance: the rind should be shiny and intact, and the fruit must be quite firm to the touch. When you squeeze the lemon to extract the juice, make sure none of the white pith just inside the rind gets into the juice, as this would make the juice bitter and affect the flavour of the gelato. Lemon gelato goes well with all fruit and cream flavours, but can also be used for making sorbets, semifreddos and drinks.

Liquorice

Liquorice (Glycyrrhiza glabra) is a perennial herbaceous plant from the Leguminosae family. Due to its main chemical constituent – glycyrrhizin – liquorice has been used in medicine since the Ancient Greeks. Recognised even in ancient Egypt, in China and in Assyria, in modern times liquorice was first reimported into Europe in the 15th century. There are various different uses for liquorice extract: it can be eaten on its own, or else for making drinks and hand-made gelato. One of the most popular products in the gelato parlour, hand-made liquorice gelato has an intense, creamy flavour, and is a perfect match for creams, for pistachio, but also for fruit flavours. 

A hand-made gelato is never out of season!
Brioche with gelato
Brioche with gelato

Sliced open and filled with gelato, with cream, or even with both, the brioche with gelato is a typical Sicilian speciality which has recently been exported to the rest of Italy; it is becoming increasingly common to see gelato shops offering this delicacy, with regional variations such as croissants and buns or the truly Sicilian “tuppo” brioche.

Vegan gelato, the new trend of Italian gelato-making.
Vegan gelato, the new trend of Italian gelato-making.

The last SIGEP, the International Homemade Gelato, Pastry, and Bakery Fair, in Rimini, saw a trend among all of the major companies in the industry to offer products – and in some cases an entire product line – for vegans. 

Part 2 - Pasteurization and homogenization of italian gelato
Part 2 - Pasteurization and homogenization of italian gelato

After selecting, assaying and processing the raw materials with the other ingredients, the next stages in making hand-made gelato are pasteurization and homogenization.

Part 3 -Maturation and Batch freezing of Italian gelato
Part 3 -Maturation and Batch freezing of Italian gelato

After pasteurization and homogenization, it is time for the mixture to undergo maturation and batch-freezing, which are crucial stages for a good hand-made gelato.

How to select ingredients for your gelato
How to select ingredients for your gelato

Why do manufacturer of ingredients for gelato parlours offer such a wide range of different bases? As user requirements differ so widely, the products are designed to help the gelato-maker to get consistently balanced mixtures, for creamier, more scoopable gelato.

Investments, costs and revenues in opening a gelato shop
Investments, costs and revenues in opening a gelato shop

Over the course of time, Italian gelato has earned itself a reputation for continuous innovation in production methods, technologies and ingredients, often dictated by the needs of both practising and would-be gelato-makers.

Differences between artisan Italian gelato, industrial ice cream and soft ice cream
Differences between artisan Italian gelato, industrial ice cream and soft ice cream

Often the differences between italian gelato, industrial ice cream and soft ice cream are not clear to everyone, even though in Italy the fact that there are so many gelato parlours as well as a history of hand-made gelato making would seem to facilitate this distinction.

How to make a good hand-made gelato
How to make a good hand-made gelato

Making gelato used to involve a machine known as a sorbetière, refrigerated using ice and salt, with the mix being batch frozen by hand using a long spatula-shaped stick. Luckily, things have changed quite a bit since then! 

Selecting the gelato ingredients
Selecting the gelato ingredients

Choosing the right raw materials is a fundamental part of making outstanding hand-made gelato: the finest milk, eggs and sugar, and the best semi-finished ingredients and semi-finished products are a key component in the creativity of every craftsman.

The role of semi-finished products in gelato-making
The role of semi-finished products in gelato-making

Compound ingredients for gelato or semi-finished products are mixtures of ingredients in powder or paste that the gelato-maker keeps by his side when preparing mixtures (stabilization) and giving them flavor.

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