24 Sep 2015

Making the Best Gelato in the World

I spent two weeks in the Bologna area at the end of the summer. Situated between the Poo Plain and the Apennine Mountains the area is famous for its meat products, cheese, balsamico and pasta. At the beginning of september there were also plenty of fresh fruit. Not to mention the gelaterias, more than 100 of those in only Bologna! Besides tasting gelato flavours, I attented one week basic gelato course at Carpigiani Gelato University.

You can't buy gelato in a supermarket

After many theory lessons, intense hands on practice in the gelato laboratory, and my individual gelato testing tours, I think I know now something about this traditional italian treat. The difference between ice cream and gelato comes out best by saying that you can't buy gelato in a super market. The main differences in figures are: gelato contains 0-8 % butterfat while ice cream contains it between 10-18 %, the overrun in gelato is 30-40 % while in ice cream it is 50-100%, the serving temperature of gelato is -12 - -14 degrees C while the serving temperature of ice cream is between -15 - 118 degrees C. As a result, the warmer temperature, less fat and lower air content creats a more intense flavour.

But besides the above mentioned there are still some other signicant differences between traditional, artisanal gelato and commercial ice cream: gelato is produced in small quatities, made of fresh ingredients usually by hand at the gelato shop, and the range of the flavours varies with the season. In modern gelaterias this freshness is emphasized by showing the laboratory behind the showcases.

Cremeria Funivia beside the Piazza Cavour. You can see the laboratory behind the showcases.














Carpigiani Gelato University spreads the culture of gelato throughout the world

Carpigiani produces a large range of machines for gourmet gelato. It was founded in Bologna 1946. The network of Carpigiani sales and technical support is today worlwide. Carpigiani Gelato University was established in 2003 with a mission to lay basis for a worlwide gelato culture. The headquarters is in Anzola dell'Emilia, Bologna and courses are arranged in several other places throughout the world, for example in Great Britain, Unuted States, Argentina, Japan, China, Germany, Brazil, Dubai and Singapore.  

At the basic course of five days we learned the basics of making gelato and every day we had also hands on practice in small groups at the gelato laboratory. The first day we had theory lessons of raw ingredients and production method of gelato. In the afternoon we already made huge amounts of gelato of basic flavours. We learned how to clear and disassemble the batchfreezer.

Me and my gelatos and sorbettos :).
The next day we went deeper in the production process and in the afternoon we made fresh and beautiful coloured sorbettos. We also had a guided tour of Carpigiani Gelato Museum. The museum presents the thousands of years history of gelato from using natural ice and snow to modern gelato production and machinery. For tourists the tours are always guided and have to booked in advance. The guided tour includes gelato testing in Gelateria Carpigiani beside the headquarters, Via Emilia 45 (Anzola dell'Emilia).

Machinery in Carpigiani Gelato Museum.
The third day we made toppings and enriched gelatos; stracciatella, variegated, inclusions and composed flavours. The following two days we learned about single portions, soft gelato and stick gelatos. At the theory lessons we learned among other things about hygiene, gelateria design and business planning. We also had a final exam before a group photo.

Nicola finishing tiramisu, variegated and inclusions, Linda filling a pen with skill.
Stick gelatos and single portions.

Our teacher Christian Bonfiglioli was awsame, spoke clearly and repeated essential facts adequately. We had a lot of hands on practice in the laboratory and it was nice to work in the small groups. It was interesting to get to know people around the world. With a special joy I look back at the team spirit of our finnish-itialian group. We made all together, so that everyone got to learn and see the whole process ... even at the expense of being nearly always the last group to finish :).

Finnish-italian teamwork.























The courses at Carpigiani Gelato University are mainly for people who are planning to become gelatieres. The whole program takes four weeks to finish. The basic course gave good knowledge of making gelato and I think I can apply the knowledge even in making my own homemade gelato.

The best gelaterias in Bologna?

So, where do you find the best gelaterias in Bologna? Though I tried, I didn't manage to visit them all. But here are some suggestions for those who are going to visit this gelato capital:

Cremeria Funivia, Piazza Cavour - wonderful special gelatos, for example cavour, cream gelato with lemon cnest and shortbread crumble.

Pretto, Via de'Toschi 2 - a good selection of special flavours, impressive selection of pistachio flavours.

La Piccola Gelateria Artigianale Bottega G, Via Massimo D'Azeglio 1/D - fresh and healthy gelato, ingredients to be seen clearly. Had to taste variegato amarena several times :).

La Sorbetteria Castiglione, Via Castiglione 44 - vide selection of flavours, production to be seen behind. Minus for the calory information of gelatos :).

La Torinese, Piazza Re Enzo - a good gelateria and cafe, serving at tables in a nice piazza near Piazza Maggiore.

Cremeria Sette Chiese, Via Santo Stefano 14 - besides customary gelato portions there is a good selection of stick gelato. Is situated near the attractive Piazza Santo Stefano.

My evening snack.