Category Archives: Creating Gelato

The “G” is For Granita

If you have never been to Italy, you have never had real Italian Granita. Granita is an Italian frozen dessert made from sugar, water and fresh fruits or syrups to add flavor. Originally from Sicily, it’s very similar in texture to sorbet or Italian ice. In restaurants, granitas are often served as a palate cleanser in between courses; they can also make a wonderful dessert or a refreshing thirst-quenching treat on a hot sunny day.

 

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Granitas have a long history. As the story goes, it was Catherine de Medicis who traveled to Paris in 1533 from her home in Florence, Italy to marry Henri, duc d’Orleans and heir to the French throne.  Along with Catherine came Italian chefs. During the grand wedding celebration, one of the Florentine chefs made a different flavored ice each day.

 

That’s Amore! Some of the most desirable flavors of traditional Granitas are lemon, strawberry, mango, espresso and almond. Depending on the geographical region, some flavors are more popular than others.

 

Did you know that in certain parts of Italy, they serve granitas with a warm briocia cu’ tuppu? That’s the Sicilian version of the French sweet bread brioche. The warm bread is sliced in half and inside goes the granita.

 

Italians are very proud of their desserts. You should take the to time travel, taste and experience all the different delicacies.

 

This article originally appeared in Denise’s December 2015 newsletter.  Subscribe to Denise’s free monthly newsletter by clicking here

 

Today Was a Groundbreaking Day in Southwest Florida

When I started my first business Sweet Ginger’s Gelato, my goal was to make Real Italian Gelato available to my customer’s. As time went on and my business grew, so did my knowledge of what makes Real Italian Gelato different than Italian Ice Cream. Somehow I knew the product I was serving wasn’t even close. I decided it was time to get serious. It was time for me to learn how to create Real Italian Gelato.

Since January, I’ve been traveling back and forth from Italy. I’ve trained with some of the best Gelato Chefs and even attended a University specializing in the art of making Real Italian Gelato. With all of this education and hands on experience I knew I had to take the next step.

And that is why today was a ground breaking day in Southwest Florida. Just a few minutes from the Fort Myers International Airport sits a 3000 square foot building. Inside this facility, crews have now begun working on my latest expansion.

It’s going to be a state of the art commercial kitchen and manufacturing facility to make Real Italian Gelato. It will be my laboratory where I will create signature flavors for my customer’s and exclusive clients. This will be Gelatology for real!

My commercial Gelato kitchen is all imported from Italy.

Special preparations are required even before the equipment can be installed.

Special preparations are required even before the equipment can be installed.

This is the tasting area. This will allow business clients to sample my product and watch me create signature recipes custom designed exclusively for them.

This is the tasting area. This will allow business clients to sample my product and watch me create signature recipes custom designed exclusively for them.

http://MyGelatoLab.com
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http://youtube.com/GelatoLab

What’s In A Flavor?

Whether your taste buds tingle from the sweetness of a Lemon Gelato or your palate prefers the creaminess of a Rich Dark Chocolate Gelato. Flavor is a combination of several sensations.

Think about it? If something does not look or taste appetizing, chances are you’re not going to enjoy it.

Gelato Volcano by Master Chef Gabriele Scarponi

A couple of weeks ago, I had the opportunity to meet with an Italian based company that specializes in customizing Gelato recipes. These folks use all natural ingredients without any chemicals or artificial colorings.

Upon my arrival, I was graciously welcomed by the President of the company & some of his staff.

After a brief introduction, I was escorted into a laboratory. It was here that I met three individuals. The Gelato Scientists. Each one was dressed in a crisp white lab coat. They were busy measuring, mixing & tasting all sorts of ingredients.

After each recipe was meticulously measured, calculated & recorded, the beautification process was performed.

GELATO!!!

Firenze Gelato Festival 2013

Over the course of two days, I worked one on one with The Gelato Scientists. Creating my own recipes. After each creation, I’d close my eyes in order to focus on tasting the true flavors of each Gelato.

I believe it’s important to produce a product that looks beautiful & people love to eat. I also believe it’s important to educate people about what goes into making that product so appealing.

The Master Chef

Becoming a Master Chef of Gelato takes a great deal of knowledge, practice & skills.

Not only does it require one to have a basic understanding of the chemical formulas used for making Real Handcrafted Artisan Style Gelato, but a Master Chef of Gelato must be able to create a perfect balance of richness, texture & flavors from real fresh ingredients.

Education & hands on practice has been one of my idealistic quests for becoming a Master Chef of Gelato. I’ve gone to great lengths & spared no expense to
reach my goal. My travels to Italy to collaborate with other Master Chefs sets me apart from others.

Denise visits the ALMA Italian School of Italian Cuisine

What makes my Gelato so unique? Throughout my journey’s, I’ve walked the cobblestone streets of Italy visiting with local farmers who proudly display their fresh produce each day. I’ve sampled the freshest fruits & finest nuts throughout Italy!

Denise Training at the Gelato Professional School

Finally, one can not become a Master Chef of Gelato by ingredients alone. It also requires the perfect machinery to create the perfect product. The Frigomat product line happens to be Italy’s best kept secret. They’ve provided me the opportunity to work on each piece of equipment & also allowed me to work with their Master Gelato Chef Gabriele Scarponi.

Gelato Volcano by Master Chef Gabriele Scarponi

As my month long mission comes to an end…I can finally say I’m one step closer to becoming a Master Gelato Chef!

Ciao! : )

What’s The Difference Between Gelato & Ice Cream?

On any given day, I am approached by someone trying Gelato for the first time. One of the first questions they often ask is…What’s the difference between Gelato & Ice Cream?

Gelato Chef Denise "Ginger Sweet" Kulisz

I often respond to this question with a soft spoken tone & big smile on my face. “It’s Caviar of Ice Cream!” This makes it less complicated & easier for most people to understand.

First of all, the ratio of ingredients used in the process of making each one is different. Gelato is made with fresh milk, eggs & sugar. Ice cream uses similar ingredients but most have added cream. With the increase of fat, the end result is a coating of the tongue that disguises the richness of the flavors. That is why you taste more true flavors in Gelato.

Second, while all of the ingredients are being blended together Gelato is churned at a slower speed than Ice cream. Making it creamier & denser. Ice cream incorporates more air.

Finally, Gelato is meant to be kept at a lower temperature than Ice cream. It even has it’s own display case! The presentation of Gelato in the display case is a favorite among it’s customer’s . Ice cream on the other-hand is stored in an extremely cold freezer & covered up by additional condiments put on by its customer’s

Creating a Masterpiece

Masterpieces are not often planned.

For some, it takes years of practice and many failed attempts. Each one is different, one of a kind, and original. For a composer, it would be his Magnum Opus. For a sculptor it may be that magnificent statue. Anytime an artist puts forth his passion, creativity & skills, he comes closer to creating a masterpiece.

This past week, I had the opportunity to revisit Milan, Italy. Amazingly, I had the chance to work alongside Master Chef Gabriele Scardoni.

Sweet Gingers Founder Denise Kulisz and Master Gelato Chef Gabriele Scarponi

Sweet Gingers Founder Denise Kulisz and Master Gelato Chef Gabriele Scarponi

Through his expertise and guidance I was able to create many unique flavors of gelato. With each creation, I learned
how to embrace the flavors by using only the freshest ingredients from all over the world. Sometimes an artist must rely on a mentor to help cultivate their skill.

With my passion comes uniqueness. Through my travels comes creativity. Over the next few months, I will be using many of the skills I’ve developed creating my masterpiece Gelato.

The History Behind Gelato

During my visit to Italy, I had the opportunity to take a tour of the Carpigiani Gelato Museum.

Denise touring the Carpigiani Gelato Museum

My guided tour introduced me to the history, culture & technology of real artisan Gelato.

At the Gelato Lab, I observed students make real Gelato from fresh, high quality ingredients that well represents true Italian excellence.  It was here that I gained a better understanding of the origins of Gelato.

Sweet Ginger at the Carpigiani Gelato Lab

Imagine having a Gelato that only the noble & distinguished could experience.
One might think that would be rather snobbish. However, that’s exactly how Gelato came to be.

The history of Gelato dates back to 1200 BC when snow was used as the base for Gelato.

A significant development in Gelato occurred during the Renaissance period when large dinner gatherings ended with guests indulging in desserts of custards & fruit.

Gelato continued to develop throughout Europe.

In the 16th century, a chef named Procopio De Coltelli from Sicily, opened a Café in Paris. The café was frequented by the upper-class including Benjamin Franklin and Napoleon.

During the 18th century, the first Gelateria was opened in New York by a gentleman named Giovanni Bosio.

In the following century, the differences between American & European Ice Cream emerged.
Ice Cream became Gelato in Italy, Ice Cream in Great Britain & Ice Milk in The United States.

The American version was mass produced and richer in butterfat whereas it remained lower in butterfat and remained a family orientated business throughout Europe.

So now the next time you enjoy a serving of Gelato you will have a greater appreciation of the origins of Gelato.

Check out my photo set from the Gelato Museum here

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