Gelato Festival

Memorial Day weekend for all of you in the states was for us in Florence: a 4 day Gelato Festival. Which means tents were set up in most of the main piazzas in Florence and we made daily walks to visit the numerous vendors stationed under each tent.

There were videos and how-we-make-it lectures, kiddie areas and crafts and most importantly: a whole lot of gelato. Our goal was simple: try as many flavors as we could stomach.

We bought little 'tickets' and handed them in for little bowls of tasteful delight. In no particular order, and hoping I don't forget any, we tried:
  1. lime
  2. strawberry
  3. biscotti
  4. cookies
  5. creme caramel (tasted like creme brulee)
  6. melon (cantelope)
  7. lemon (always a winner!)
  8. cream
  9. cheesecake (we added some strawberry and 'complimentary' whipped cream... yum!)
  10. cuban (chocolate, rum, cherries)
  11. a combo of caramel, cookies, sambuca, cream (cannot remember name)
  12. strawberry shortcake (for lack of a better name)
  13. strattiatella (think vanilla with bits of chocolate, a long time fave of the boys)
  14. pear and pecorino
  15. pine nut
  16. macadamia nut
  17. orange and cream
  18. nutella
  19. raspberries and cream
  20. mint

And I am sure I am forgetting some. Of interest: one vendor (each vendor typically served 5 or so flavors) had 5 chocolate gelatos, from chocolate around the world (think costa rica, venezuala, etc.). Another: I confess the pear and pecorino were as far as I ventured into savory, I forgot to try the 'riso' which is rice/risotto and deliberately avoided the funghi (mushroom!).

To this day, my favorite gelato is still honey (not to be found at the festival); I enjoyed it at an artisan shop while we were hiking in Cinque Terre. Though the cuban chocolate, melon and strawberry---oh, and creme caramel---were fantastic. No doubt I will be picking up a book on gelato-making when we hit stateside.


  1. I wish we had a Gelato Festa locally, what fun. I am writing about our weekend Sagra at the moment for Latterini, somehow not so interesting.

  2. Maxine Sherbo2.6.10

    Ciao, Janelle! Gelato festival in Florence is nearly a trip to Paradise. This weekend we celebrated as best we could at a fantastic pasticceria- gelateria in Syosset, NY, where our group partook of hazelnut, chocolate, and banana gelatos, and I ( sadly, lactose intolerant) with blueberry and pineapple sorbets. I have made my own hazelnut ( starting with hazelnuts in their shells)gelato ( tons of work and well worth it!!) as well as strawberry sorbet and pear- ginger sorbet. Inspired by a friend-chef, I have also made fennel sorbet, which is out-of-sight delicious.

  3. LindyLou: it was fantastic!

    Maxine: Fennel how wonderful---I have a recipe tucked away for Watermelon Sambuca;) cannot wait to try it! Gelato in Syosset NY? You are Italian and live there? Do you have a fave gelato cookbook/recipe??


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