Liquorice: a tasty hand-made gelato

Liquorice: a tasty hand-made gelato

Creamy, sweet and tasty, liquorice is one of the most popular hand-made gelato flavours. With its unique and refined taste, liquorice is not only used for its therapeutic properties, but is also a great ingredient for many recipes in the gelato parlour.

Liquorice (Glycyrrhiza glabra) is a perennial herbaceous plant from the Leguminosae family. Used in Ancient Greek medicine, liquorice was then introduced into Egypt, China and Assyria as a plant with a variety of therapeutic properties. The chemical principle in liquorice is known as glycyrrhizin, which gives liquorice root the digestive, anti-inflammatory, draining, antioxidant and relaxing properties for which it is so popular. 

Although most commonly used as a pick-me-up and medicine, liquorice has also long been a staple in the kitchen, for purely culinary purposes. Indeed, liquorice extract can be consumed on its own in dried roots, as an ingredient in teas and hot diuretic herbal infusions and for making sweets.

A perfect flavouring for fish and meat dishes, liquorice has become a key ingredient for making confectionery. Among the various recipes from the confectionery world, liquorice is an excellent ingredient for making hand-made gelato.

An irresistible summer flavour, hand-made liquorice gelato is perfect for any time of day, even as a digestive after a meal. A unique refined flavour that, with its strong body and soft consistency, combines well with creamy gelato flavours. Try it as a granita for a refreshing and tasty drink!

Liquorice: a tasty hand-made gelato
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.

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.

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.

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! 

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.

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.

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