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 Every Father Figure In My Life, Thank You

You didn't have to be who you are, but I'm grateful.
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Another Father's Day has come and gone. To some of us, it's less of a celebration of thanks and more of a salt on an open wound type of deal.

You see, some of us don't have a biological father to celebrate on fathers day. My dad passed away when I was very little, some people were abandoned by their fathers, so on and so forth. But that doesn't mean we don't have a few positive male role models in our lives.

So I want to say thank you to my father figures.

When my dad was no longer around, so many people in this community and throughout my life stepped up to keep an eye on me. Thank you for teaching me what I deserve. Thank you for teaching me how to be the best I can be. Thank you for teaching me kindness and humility. Thank you for wiping the dirt off my face when I fell down. Thank you for giving me a man to look up to and a hero.

It is important for you to know that you didn't have to do all you did for me, but I am forever grateful for the support. I wouldn't be the person I am today, or have the dreams I do or the motivation to accomplish them without you.

Nobody could ever replace my dad, but your support and love can be held in just as high if not higher regard.

So thanks again, for doing what you didn't have to do; being a step dad, a grandpa, or just a family friend, thank you for being my father figure.

Cover Image Credit: Dalle Rutledge

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Power Ranking The 2018 FIFA World Cup, From No Chance To Best Chance

With the 2018 FIFA World Cup this month, let's see who might walk out with the cup, and who will be lucky to win a match.

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There are a lot of interesting story-lines in the 2018 World Cup, but instead of just covering those, I decided to power rank the chances of winning for the 32 teams in this year's edition.

This doesn't mean that this is in the order of the best teams, but rather their chances of ACTUALLY WINNING matches/groups/the whole thing. For example, a team like Croatia is very talented, but there in a group with Super Messi, an Icelandic team that has had their number recently, and a Nigerian team that can hang with anyone when at their best.

As a result, their chances aren't as good as a team like Mexico, who despite losing to Croatia recently, should join Germany out of Group F.

With that out of the way, let's get to the rankings.

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Twitter: @tuhinsant

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