As I sit here on this unfortunate, hot September day, I dream of creamy, ice-cold, sweet Nutella gelato, or some peanut butter gelato, or how about Parmesan? That’s right, Parmesan gelato. A couple days ago, I was able to take a trip to an unforgettable restaurant called Gran Caffé L’aquila right here in good ol’ Philadelphia that sold savory gelato on top of pasta. I had to pinch myself because it felt like a dream when I was there. But it got me thinking, savory gelato? Is this normal?
So, I did some research. It turns out that savory gelato is more normal than you think. A scientist named Giambattista della Porta came up with this life-changing treat. He started by mixing snow and ice to freeze wine. He began serving wine slushies along with other frozen concoctions. Later on, he added milk and other flavors, which then became what we know today as gelato.
Thomas Jefferson gets some credit here, too. He became infatuated with gelato when he was a minister in France. He began to serve it at the White House in our nation’s capital shortly after his inauguration.
Mary Randolf, an American author, wrote a cookbook titled The Virginia House-Wife that was one of the most influential housekeeping and cookbooks. In this book, she included countless recipes for ice cream or gelato that included peach, apricot, and most importantly, oyster. This unusual flavor is described as being more of an oyster chowder that has been strained. Does that tickle your fancy or what?
You’re probably thinking, Wow, that doesn’t sound too great. I can feel your stomachs twisting from here. But, trust me give savory gelato a try! Flavors such as anchovy and artichoke have become popular in Italy. Other flavors include basil, pomodoro, caprese, and vino rosso. Excuse me while I go book a one way flight to Italy. Who’s with me?
So, what do you think? Would you give it a try? #HawkTalk.