I: “What would you like me to write about gelato? I mean, what would like to read about?”
Hubby: “Well, I don’t know...whatever...”
Io: “Come on, for instance, some memory linked to gelato?”
Hubby: “I don’t have great memories.”
Io: “For example, memories of when you were a child or a teenager. You know, like the madeleine of Proust. Maybe, there is a flavor of gelato that reminds you of sweet moments.”
Hubby: “I just remember that I ate may gelatos and they were all yummy! :D”
I doubt my husband will ever write a memoir :P
On the other hand, I have a proustian memory and gelato is linked to past memories, emotions, feelings. Gelato has always been the uncontested symbol of summer. There was the after-beach gelato, as well as the after-dinner and the snack gelato. As a grown-up, in particular during my college time, I instituted gelato for lunch, along with a portion of fresh fruit salad.
My favorite flavor when I was a child was coconut. I had a fixation with any food containing coconut: coconut cookies, coconut cakes, not to mention fresh coconut. I found it reassuring. Coconut was so exotic to make me dream about foreign oceans, white beaches and blue lagoons.
I then evolved towards flavors as stracciatella and crème caramel, without disdaining great classic as strawberry and chocolate, tough. Maturity and, ahem, wisdom had refined my taste buds. I thus became a fan of the apparently simple and timeless hazelnut and pistachio flavors.
Currently, I am oriented towards classical creams. The flavors hazelnut and pistachio are my reference standards to assess any gelato shop. I now order “hazelnut and pistachio” with the same frown of the critic of Ratatouille. But I immediately surrender to the rich taste of Langhe’s hazelnuts or to the salty touch of Bronte’s pistachios.
And so today, I leave you with my first Proustian memory:
(Doses for 4 persons)
- 375 mL of whole milk
- 80 mL of fresh cream
- 150 g of sugar
- 100 g of dark chocolate chips
- 1 teaspoon of vanilla extract
Pour all the ingredients in the gelato maker, with the exception of the chocolate chips that must be added in a second time. Close and activate the paddle, without cooling down. Stir, till the sugar will be completely dissolved. Now, activate both paddles and cooling, and let the machine stir for about 10-15 min. After this time, stop the machine and add the chocolate chips. Close the machine and start the stirring+cooling for other 15 min. After this time, gelato should have solidify. Stop the gelato maker, extract the bowl and cover it with aluminum foil. Let the gelato rest in the freezer for 7-8 h, before serving.