Jan 30, 2008

Gelato Ice Cream

Gelato is a word that seems to crop up more and more in everyday life and what we generally mean by it of course is Italian ice cream. The making of gelato, which is believed to have originated in Northern Italy, has a tradition that goes back a long way - to Roman times in fact. Then there's gelato made with water - sorbetto which originates from Southern Italy - another world of ice cream in itself!

I've visited Northern Italy, tasted real gelato there and also eaten gelato in Italian gelataria in other countries and I can vouch for how different it is to any other ice cream. The photo right is one I took of a wonderful gelataria in Zandvoort (Netherlands). Owned and operated by an Italian family, it is patronised not only by tourists but the local population too - which is always a good sign.

However, you don't have to travel to Italy or indeed even outside your home to enjoy good gelato as you can make it yourself. Here is a vanilla gelato (vaniglia gelato) recipe to try, one of the most popular gelato flavors; other popular ones include strawberry (fragola), chocolate (cioccolato) and banana. I've been busy preparing a few more gelato recipes and hopefully they will be live on the site very soon.

For anyone interested in more detailed information about what makes gelato ice cream different, I have a dedicated Gelato web page that might help give some insight.

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Jan 23, 2008

A Timely Sorbet In Spain

Some friends of mine occasionally 'escape' to Spain for a few days of much needed (and much deserved) relaxation. When I last spoke with them, they had just returned from a New Year's break there and I of course asked about the weather. It had been mild - much milder than where I was! - and they told me how wonderful the locally-grown orange and lemon trees were looking. Apparently, January is the month when oranges and lemons ripen on the island, being ready for picking late January and into February. I never knew this - I've always thought of oranges and lemons as summer fruits!

I suppose that's understandable though because it's the summer when I usually make ice cream sorbets. Hearing of ripening oranges and lemons made me think of an orange sorbet recipe I like to make which uses both fresh oranges and a juice from a fresh lemon.

Next time I see my friends I'll try to remember and give them a copy to take back to Mallorca. I can visualise them now .... on a balcony overlooking the sea, taking shade from the sun, enjoying the balmy air and enjoying their very own homemade 'locally grown' sorbet. What a nice thought!

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Jan 11, 2008

Animals Love Ice Cream Too!

We know that humans love ice cream - but what about animals? I already knew from my own experience as a child that dogs love ice cream (not that it's good for them to eat too much of course) because my Yorkshire Terrier Josie and I would often share an ice cream cone together - I would eat the main part and break the bottom off for her as a mini cone with a little scoop of the ice cream in it! My Mum's pet Cavalier King Charles Spaniel, Holly, also had a great fondness for ice cream and a friend once told me about her cat having the same passion .. but what about other animals?

I decided to do some research and was amazed at what I found. There are clearly many, many people whose pets love ice cream; from dogs of all kinds and sizes to cats but also rabbits, horses and even birds! Not only that, but the way in which these animals eat ice cream varies enormously. Some cats refuse to eat ice cream directly and insist on using a paw to scoop it up - a bit like when we humans use a plastic ice cream spoon to eat out of an ice cream tub!

I came across some great video clips of animals eating ice cream, some of which are really delightful and funny - if you're interested in looking at them there's a dedicated page on ice-cream-recipes.com called animals eating ice cream.

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