Everything You Need To Know About Gelato In Italy (And Then Some)

Everything You Need To Know About Gelato In Italy (And Then Some)

Warning: this post will most likely make you crave gelato
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Italy is incredible for more reasons than one. Studying abroad in Florence has been one of the greatest things I have ever experienced. Italy is known around the world for their amazing food. I feel like the past three weeks I have eaten more pasta than I have in my entire life. Before I came to Italy, everyone told me that I was going to love the gelato. After all, ice cream is one one of my main food groups in the States.

I’ve been in Italy for three weeks now, and I can count on one hand the number of times I haven’t had gelato. It is incredibly rare that I go a full 24 hours without eating gelato. It’s so good I decided to write an article about it so that everyone will be fully prepared for whenever the time comes to consume the best food in the world.

The word gelato means “frozen” in Italian. A gelateria (plural=gelaterie) is the name for a place that sells in gelato in Italy. One can find a gelateria in Italy as often as one can find a coffee shop or a gas station in the United States. Italians understand that gelato is a staple and thus, you will never walk more than 3 blocks before coming across a gelateria.

So what is gelato and how is it different from ice cream?

Gelato is made from a base of milk, cream and sugar, and is flavored usually with chocolate, fruit, nut purees and other flavors. Ice cream, as its name suggests, has a lot more cream than gelato does. Rather than cream, most gelato is made with whole milk, less cream and usually no egg yolks. By Italian law, gelato must have at least 3.5% butterfat. Ice cream in the United States is required to have at least 10% butterfat.

As an avid consumer of ice cream, I can confidently say that gelato is far better than any ice cream I have ever tasted. Gelato is churned with less air than other frozen desserts, and contains more flavoring – which accounts for the density and richness of gelato. Also, gelato is typically stored in warmer temperatures than ice cream, anywhere form 7 to 15 degrees Fahrenheit, compared to ice cream, which is stored anywhere from 0 to 10 degrees Fahrenheit. The soft, silky taste of gelato is due in part to the higher storage temperatures. Gelato also has a lower fat content than ice cream, which is always a bonus!

Ordering gelato in Italy is slightly different than how one would order ice cream in the United States. The biggest difference is that it is common-practice to pay for your gelato at the cash register first and then present your receipt to the person who is serving the gelato. It is imperative that you tell the person the number of flavors, or “gusti,” you would like. The more flavors, the smaller portions of each one, but it will still be the same amount of gelato. This is a wonderful benefit for individuals who may be indecisive or wanting a taste of more than one flavor.

Below are some of the most common flavors found in gelaterie, with the English translation:

Cioccolato (chocolate)

Bacio (chocolate hazelnut)

Pistacchio (Pistachio)

Mandorla (almond)

Nocciola (plain hazelnut, not combined with chocolate)

Cocco (coconut)

Zabione or Crema (egg custard)

Fragola (strawberry)

Lampone (raspberry)

Limone (lemon)

Mandarino (orange)

Melone (cantaloupe)

Albicocca (apricot)

Fico (fig)

Mela (apple)

Pesca (peach)

Stracciatella (vanilla ice cream with chocolate chips)

As a self-proclaimed professional gelato connoisseur, I have a few final pieces of advice. First and foremost, it is completely acceptable (and even recommended) to have gelato more than once a day. Compared to the United States, things in Italy are much smaller in scale. That being said, the smallest size is actually small. If you make the (excellent) choice of having gelato after lunch and dinner, or even as an afternoon snack, you can plan your flavors according to the time of day. Personally, I love fruit flavors in the afternoon. The summer heat in Florence is unforgiving; you step outside, take 3 steps and you’re sweating profusely. Fresh, fruity gelato is the perfect way to cool down and feel refreshed. In the evenings, I generally choose a more decadent flavor. My personal favorite is Nutella, but bacio and nocciola are amazing too. If you happen to be in Florence, do yourself a favor and hit up Gelateria de Neri, also known as my heaven on Earth.

Cover Image Credit: Gabriela DiCristoforo

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To The Girl Who Hasn't Been Herself Lately

Your spark return, and you will shine like you were meant to.
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Life gets tough. Life gets too much to handle sometimes, and those times make you stronger. However, right now, it seems like you have lost yourself.

It’s difficult when you catch yourself not being you. When you do something or act a certain way and just wonder, “what did I do to deserve this? Why is this happening? When will it get better?” The way you’re feeling is not so much that you’re unhappy, you just feel weird.

Your day will come. I promise you. This is just a phase.

The day you realize how much you have grown from this point in time will be your reward. It is so hard to see now, and I feel your pain.

Your light will return to you. Your pure bliss moments, they are seeking you. Your laughter where your tummy aches is in your reach.

Our moods change far too often for us as humans to understand why, but the encounters you make every day have this effect on us.

You must remember the pure happiness you experienced before your first heartbreak, before the first friend became someone you thought they weren’t, before you lost your innocence. That was a time of true joy as you had not a care in the world for the things that would harm you. Better yet, you didn’t have the option to experience them because you were just a child.

The world can be an ugly place, and your attitude towards life can change every day. One thing is for certain: you did not lose who you are internally. We all put on a face for the world. For the people who we try to impress. For the life we want to live. For the things we want to achieve.

Your definitive personality is still in the works. Believe it or not, it always will be. Times like this change us for the better even though we can’t see it.

Your happiness will return. You will be a better, stronger version of you. In fact, you will be the best version of you yet.

Once this phase is over, you will be okay. This I promise you.

Cover Image Credit: Megan Sutton

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We Need To Start Taking Sexual Assault Against Men More Seriously

If you wouldn't say it to a woman, why would it be okay to say it to a man?

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Meet Becky. Becky is an attractive, 17-year-old woman looking to find an agent to help her Hollywood career. She finds an excellent, popular agent who invites her to his house for an interview. They have drinks and chat, getting along wonderfully all the while.

But things change quickly. The agent keeps giving her alcohol despite her young age until she is undoubtedly drunk. Suddenly, he climbs on top of her and begins to fondle her. She's torn; she can't insult him without ruining her career, but this isn't what she wants. She's able to push him off without aggravating him, but she knew she couldn't report the issue without angering him and his colleagues. She waits 11 years to report the incident, only to learn that she wasn't his only victim.

It's always a horrifying story. A woman was pinned down and groped without consent by an adult man who had no excuse not to know any better. You're undoubtedly disgusted by the agent's actions, but would you feel the same if Becky wasn't a woman?

If it changes your opinion at all, you're a hypocrite.

Becky doesn't exist, but this is a true story according to Blaise Godbe Lipman, an American actor, screen director, and screenwriter. He along with several other young men, such as Lucas Ozarowski, claim that child talent agent Tyler Grasham made "unwanted advances" towards them and came out with their stories as the #MeToo movement gained traction in 2017.

Lucas Ozarowski's Facebook Post Lucas Ozarowski's Facebook post accusing Tyler Grasham of sexual assault

This isn't just a small group of men though. A 2005 study by the Centers for Disease Control found that approximately 16% of men in America had been sexually assaulted, but that percentage ballooned to 43% in 2018 after the MeToo movement brought greater awareness to what sexual assault entailed. 1in6, an organization dedicated to raising awareness about sexual assault against men, thinks that these numbers are still inaccurate. According to 1in6, men are less likely to disclose sexual assault status and "[o]nly 16% of men with documented histories of sexual abuse (by social service agencies, which means it was very serious) considered themselves to have been sexually abused, compared to 64% of women with documented histories in the same study." Because of these differences, the incidence of sexual assault against men may be significantly higher than we've come to expect.

But we have a problem as a society: we don't take sexual assault against men as seriously as we take sexual assault against women.

Take Terry Crews' case, for example. The former NFL player and actor in "Brooklyn Nine-Nine" was groped in 2016, but he only revealed this information to the public in 2017 as he joined the #MeToo movement. His case was more widely publicized than that of Lipman's and Ozarowski's and some people were... less than empathetic.

King T'Tywala's tweet King T'Tywala's tweet regarding Terry Crews

Unfortunately, this is one of the kinder tweets he received. I will not show the following tweets due to the language used, but the people throwing insults about Crews' masculinity ranged anywhere from the relatively unknown to larger names such as 50 cent. Rather than attacking his claims, many people felt the need to take a jab at Crews' masculinity and capability as a person—just like they've done with other men in his position.

Despite the widely held belief that men need to be strong, calm rocks with good control of their emotions, they aren't inherently stronger than women when coping with the aftermath; a man can feel guilty, anxious, hopeless, and even suicidal after the fact. Men can go into crisis, men can feel inferior, and men can fear for their lives every night when they're safely tucked away in bed.

Just like women.

Sexual assault simply doesn't make the victim any "less of a man." It isn't funny. It doesn't make him weak. The only difference is that people are more likely to look down on him and less likely to support him than if he was a woman. We need to address this and start moving forward as a society so that men start receiving the compassion and support that women do after a horrific event like this. By discarding our ingrained beliefs about what a man SHOULD react like, we can respond properly to what that man DOES react like and give him the help he deserves.

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