Saturday, August 28, 2010

Gelato: Stracciatella

A while back, I had a discount at Williams Sonoma and at the same time their gelato mixes were on sale...and coincidentally, I had just read comments from people who were raving about how good these mixes were, and that they were just like gelato served in Italy. Add all that together, and I had to give them a try.

I had no idea what flavor Stracciatella was supposed to be, but the ingredients listed chocolate, so I knew it couldn't be too bad. According to Wikipedia, the name comes from a word that means "torn apart" and it refers to the shards of chocolate in the white gelato.

The interesting thing about this mix was how fast it is to make. With most of the ice creams I make, you have to wait for a custard base to cool, or at least you have to chill the combined ingredients - and I usually chill them over night. With these mixes from Williams Sonoma, you mix milk with the base, dump it in the ice cream maker, and give it a whirl. The only waiting time is after it's done and you put it in the freezer. The instructions suggest three hours, but it's not going to be ruined if you dive in sooner.

The flavor was good and the texture was good, but I wasn't head over heels about it. I'm used to a creamier - okay fattier - ice cream. But that certainly could be remedied by using half-and-half instead of milk.

Gelato is supposed to have less fat than American ice cream, and less air is whipped into gelato than what's in commerical American ice creams, but I have no idea how that relates to the ice cream I make at home. It doesn't seem like I'm whipping vast amounts of air in.

I've never had real Italian gelato, so I can't say for sure authentic this mix is, but people who've been to Italy claimed that this mix is exactly what gelato is like in Italy. I'll take their word for it. Maybe some day I'll have a chance to try it in its native environment. Meanwhile, this is a quick, easy way to have a frozen dessert.


Anonymous said...

I love Stracciatella ice cream. Haven't eaten it ever in the US. You can get it at any Italian ice cream parlor in Germany. It is delicious.

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oviya said...
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