Gelato – Summer Treat

Summer in central Tuscany has been warm.  And of course, high temperatures are felt more in the cities.

When Florence becomes too hot to bear, residents and tourists turn to gelato as a survival strategy.

Did you know that Gelato was born in Florence?

Indeed, gelato has Florentine origins. This knowledge will justify gelatoyour copious ice-cream eating in Florence this summer. Believed to have been created by Caterina de’ Medici, the noble lady served gelato to French guests when she married Henry II of France and moved her brigade of Florentine pastry chefs and cooks to Paris in 1533.

Cold, refreshing and well textured, Florence’s best gelato is not always where you might think. Avoid places with brightly coloured towering piles. Often, the best gelaterias do not even display their delights, preferring to keep them stored at the right temperature in chilled stainless steel containers.

You usually have to pay before you order. Choose between a cup (coppetta) or a cone (cono) and the size that you want. You’ll find that Florentines and long-term expats often go for the smallest possible dimension, preferring quality over quantity.

Even if you opt for the smallest version, you can still order two different varieties. A Florentine classic is buontalenti, a creamy vanilla made from egg yolks, complemented by refreshing fruity options such as lemon, strawberry and almond. Gelato making is not all about the traditional, however. The ice-cream scene is undergoing a revolution with the new generation of gelatai experimenting with unusual tastes, such as Chianti Classico (Edoardo, piazza Duomo), salted caramel (Grom, via dell’Oche) and black sesame (Gelateria Santa Trinita).  BUON APPETITO !

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