International Writers Magazine Italian Ice Gream:
Di Belvedere - The Italian Treat
Raymond K. Clement
the dog days of August there is a frozen treat sold
on the streets of Little Italy in Boston s North
End. It is called (erroneously) Italian Ice. In its simplest
form it is nothing more than crushed ice covered with a flavoured
syrup (lemon, lime, orange et cetere).
It is a poor imitation
of what real Italian Ice is even to the name in Italy
it is known as Granita. And some of the best granite is manufactured
by the Gelateria Cipolla located in the Piazza Dante high above Belvedere
Marittimo, on the Tyrreanean Sea.
Under the shade of ancient cypress trees with additional shielding from
the summer sun provided by the umbrellas of the Gelateria one finds
a table. The cobblestoned piazza is crowded on this lazy afternoon,
there are other purveyors of ice cream but the Bar Cipolla has the premier
Shortly, large menus are provide filled with a dazzling array
of tempting ice cream delights from smooth chilled milkshakes to an
indecent banana split that should only be attempted by those with a
gargantuan appetite. One finds a table under the cool shade trees
on a lazy Saturday afternoon. The heat of the day is left behind. Shortly,
a menu of geleteria delights is presented. But we have been drawn here
by the information that the finest granites in all of Italy is
served here. We shall soon find out.
Gelateria Cipolla (the family name) has been at the same location for
over 54 years of continuous operation. The current operators are Pina
Martorello and Giulio Perrone: grandaughter of the founder, and her
husband. They use the same methods of preparation used since the gelateria
Presently there are twenty two different granite available. From the
flagship lemon to the exotic banana and kiwi, luscious melon
and café, to name just a few. I opted for the fruit of the bosco
which is a melange of wild berries found in the neighboring hills this
time of year. It was pure delight. The reason the granite of the Geleteria
is so special is that the taste of the fruit is paramount. There is
no ice added, the flavour comes from the fruit and only
is the secret? Pure ingredients, with nothing added. For example,
lets take the melon flavoured granita. It is made by crushing the
melon, fresh melon, to almost a puree a little water, and then it
is chilled. The juice of the fruit is the ice. On occasion
a little sugar may be added, but the owners stressed that
no artificial flavorings or preservatives of any kind are ever used.
My guests tried different flavours, each stating that theirs was
the best of the lot. It is not cheap. A dish will cost you about
3.50 euro per serving. But it is a heaping dish. It is well worth
the added expense.
Pina and Giulio
are always on the lookout for new fruits and combinations to offer to
their growing list of customers. (Wild blueberry is presently under
development). I was allowed a brief peek at the metal tubs where the
granite is kept prior to serving. Pina said that the granite needs
to be constantly stirred to prevent it from freezing.
People come from as far away as Salerno to enjoy this granite. Some
bringing along small portable refrigerators to take some home. The Gelateria
is in the heart of the burgeoning summer beach vacation crowd. August
will find it difficult to find a vacant table, giving one an ample chance
to visit shops around the Piazza Dante.
We thanked our hosts and assured them that they would see us again
soon. The twisting road down the mountain led us to the highway, SS
18: North to Praia A Mare and south to Paola on the Tyrrenean Sea .
Gelateria Cipolla is about seventy kilometre from Cosenza . Gelateria
Cipolla has acquired a well deserved reputation. It is worth the trip,
the view from Belvedere Paese is an added bonus.
Verba volant, Scripta manent. (Roman proverb)
Clement October 2008
rkmclement at yahoo.com
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