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Making Gelato

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It’s high time for a sweet Southern cool down, Italian-style

When summer sets in down South, cold treats become a near-compulsory coping mechanism for enduring the dog days. Or maybe such is the developed justification system our minds, abetted by our taste buds, have concocted in order to green light a cone indulgence at any time of day.

We are particularly enamored with the creamy richness of our Italian import, gelato. Paolo Dalla Zorza, of Paolo’s Gelato, with outposts in both Atlanta and Charleston, teaches us here how to make straciatella (first lesson: straciatto means “torn apart”; the chocolate is torn apart in the cream base). It’s the number one flavor in Charleston, while Atlantans cannot get enough pistachio…though rice pudding and mint julep have also been wildly popular. Go ahead and try them all because the higher milk-to-cream ratio means gelato has less fat than ice cream. Another bonus is avoiding the dreaded “brain freeze”: gelato is typically served at a higher temperature than ice cream, and that coupled with the fact that it is churned at a much slower speed (thus less air is folded in) results in a far creamier end product. It’s creamy Italian goodness, and now you can make your own. Green light granted: gelato should be eaten any time. Or do we mean all the time?

Straciatella Gelato
from Paolo of Paolo’s Gelato, Charleston, SC