That’s right, I said Gelato. I know, I know … not quite what we’re used to up here in New England when it comes to cold, creamy treats, but what a way to break tradition. And the best news is that you can judge for yourself on Friday, July 15, from 3-5 pm in the barn at Dimond Hill Farm when the folks from Fiasco Gelato will be passing out free samples of their artisan products, inspired by Italian tradition and made right up the road in Maine.
Since opening their first store in Brunswick, Maine, in 2007, Fiasco Gelato has made over 1,500 flavors of gelatos and sorbets, from A Bee’s Aphrodisiac, All I Want Is More (Chocolate), and Almond Chip Caramel Swirl to Zabaglione Chip, Zuccini Spice, and Zuppa Inglase. All products are made with the finest ingredients and with growth-hormone-free milk and cream sourced from a variety of small Maine dairy farms.
This month, Fiasco Gelato was voted Maine’s Best Ice Cream for the fourth straight year by Down East Magazine. The product also has been featured as outstand gelato in The Oprah Magazine, Bon Appetit, Food Network Magazine, Rachael Ray Every Day, and The Wall Street Journal.
Quite a resume, for sure … but I still had never heard of them before Jane brought the product to the Dimond Hill Farm Stand last year … and you might not be surprised to hear that I knew even less about gelato itself. Ice cream sort of melts through my veins, however, as I have been known to defy even the most intense brain freeze to finish a quart of black raspberry. Anyway, I decided to do a little research so that I could bring you guys the real scoop on gelato (see what I just did there, “scoop on gelato” … humph, I don’t know how Jane can keep saying that I’m barely qualified to write on the outhouse walls).
Okay, let’s talk gelato.
Gelato is sort of ice cream’s Italian cousin. According to global market researcher Mintel, gelato sales rose from $11 million in 2009 to over $214 million just five years later. Part of that rise is due to increased availability on this side of the Atlantic, and part is due to the product’s unique flavor and texture and the fact that ice cream can be up to 25 percent butterfat, while gelato has only about 4 to 9 percent. Also … and you true Yankees out there will appreciate this fact … because of the high fat content, traditional ice cream needs up to 50 percent air whipped in to make it soft and creamy. However, since gelato has less butterfat, it needs only 20 to 30 percent air mixed in to make it smooth and creamy … and, after all, who likes paying for air.
One side effect of less butterfat is that, since there is less fat coating your tongue as you lick the stuff off the spoon or cone, the flavors in gelato are more intense. It also means that gelato can be served up to 15 degrees warmer than ice cream, which both keeps your flavor-generating tongue from numbing up and avoids the dreaded, above-referenced brain freeze.
So now that you’ve gotten a little tease and some gelato education, we’ll expect to see you in the Dimond Hill Farm barn this Friday afternoon (July 15) from 3-5 pm. That way you can taste a few Gelato Fiasco flavors and, perhaps, find yourself among the converted. Of course, if you discover that you just can’t break the ice cream habit, then fear not … we’ve still got lots of ice cream in stock (including Bart’s and Shaker Pond premium ice cream) in all your favorite flavors.
Well, nuff said …