Strawberry - the hand-made gelato most loved by young and old

Strawberry - the hand-made gelato most loved by young and old

 

Queen of all the fruits, the strawberry is the favourite berry for adults and children alike. Typical of the spring and early summer, from April sometimes through to September, the strawberry is a fresh, natural ingredient that can be used for making hand-made gelato.

The strawberry (Fragaria vesca) is a false fruit, a repository for those tiny yellow seeds (oval achenes) covering the surface of the strawberry, and which are the actual fruits themselves. With its fleshy texture and deep red colour, the strawberry comes from European, Asian and American plants in the Rosaceae family, from the genus Fragaria.

The strawberry is a fruit with an intense aroma, a fresh sweet taste, and generally grows in woodland. The fruit we are now accustomed to eating in the spring has rather ancient origins, dating back to the 17th century, when on his return from Chile, a French officer brought with him a native species of strawberry, which gave rise to today’s crops. The varieties of strawberries on the market today are a cross between the various species from different geographical areas.

When selecting strawberries, make sure that the fruit is glossy, that it is bright red, firm and has no mould on its surface. Once they have been picked or purchased, strawberries should not be left out in a hot or sunny place. It is recommended to keep them in the refrigerator for up to two or three days above freezing. When using them for hand-made gelato, wash the strawberries without removing the stalks and soak them in water and vinegar for a few minutes, which makes it easier to remove the hairs from the surface.

As well as eating them fresh, strawberries are perfect for making a variety of dishes, including hand-made gelatos, creams, sorbets, syrups, fruit juices, granitas, jams, but also for decorating and garnishing cold dishes and desserts.

Hand-made strawberry gelato is an excellent classic flavour, loved by children and adults alike for its fresh and enveloping taste, which combines perfectly with any other fruit flavours, but also with creamy hand-made gelato flavours. 

Strawberry - the hand-made gelato most loved by young and old
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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