Stracciatella Ice Cream from Bergamo
Did you know that Stracciatella ice cream place of origin is in Italy? Specifically, it was invented in Bergamo, a beautiful city in Lombardy just 1 hour away from Milan. The great variety of Bergamo traditional food includes dishes from the first course, just think of the famous stuffed pasta casoncelli, to second courses like polenta e cunì, and to desserts, like Torta del Donizetti and Stracciatella ice cream.
1. The Origins of Ice Cream
It is said that ice cream was originally invented in China around 200 BC. A mixture of milk and rice was created and then frozen thanks to snow.
In the 13th century, Marco Polo, in his famous travel to China along the Silk Way, supposedly saw ice cream in that far away land. As other things that marveled him, he decided to bring back to Italy the know-how. That’s how we got the first ice cream in Italy.
According to some other historical sources, it was Alexander the Great who created the first ice cream flavor ever. Apparently, he liked to have snow and ice with honey and nectar.
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2. What Is Stracciatella Made Of?
Stracciatella (pronounced /strat-tʃaˈtɛl-la/) is an ice cream flavor based on few main ingredients: milk, cream, sugar and dark chocolate (at least 70%). The result is a plain creamy ice cream enriched with small crunchy shavings of dark chocolate and a hint of vanilla.
No eggs in this recipe!
The original recipe is not vegan-friendly as there are dairy ingredients, however, if you make it at home, you can replace cow milk with soy milk (or any other vegetable beverage) and use any vegan cream you like. As for the dark chocolate, just choose one with no dairy ingredients. And it’s as simple as that!
3. Who Invented Stracciatella Ice Cream?
Stracciatella ice cream was invented by Enrico Panattoni back in 1961 in his café La Marianna, Bergamo, Lombardy. He was originally from Lucca, Tuscany, from where he moved with his family in 1946 to settle down in Bergamo. There, he used his savings to open a coffee shop in the main road of Upper Town (called “Bergamo Alta” or “Città Alta”), a fortified upper city about 500m from sea level. After 7 years, he bought what will become the birthplace of Stracciatella, the famous Bergamo ice cream: La Marianna.
After several experiments in his workshop, he created this indulgent new flavor.
How did he make it?
He poured a generous dose of melted dark chocolate during the batch freezing process. The chocolate got solidified and a shredded effect was then created, the same effect that we find nowadays, similar to the Roman Stracciatella soup (where it’s the egg that’s shredded).
The Panattoni family still owns “La Marianna” together with another famous restaurant very close to the the café, called “Il Pianone”.
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4. Where to Taste Stracciatella in Bergamo
If ever go to Bergamo you must visit Upper Town and therefore try Stracciatella in its place of origin at La Marianna. However, you can find this flavor in any gelateria of the city.
You can also find it in La Romana and Carmen Gelato, two gelaterie downtown Bergamo.
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Images credits: Ice cream from Bergamo by philip.mallis// CC BY-SA 2.0; Cono LaStracciatellailgelatodiBergamo.jpg by BeaC // CC BY-SA 4.0; stracciatella gelato by stu_spivack // CC BY-SA 2.0.