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About me

About me

Last Updated on January 29, 2024 19 Comments

It all started in Rome. As things often do.

We were on a long weekend away. Sleeping in a pokey little room in a depressing apartment somewhere near the center of town. Trying to catch some early spring sun after a miserably long winter in London.

And we were having a nice enough time. We'd been to the Coliseum. We'd eaten some rabbit stew in an alleyway in an old part of the city. We'd drunk a fair bit of wine. We'd even been to watch Roma play football.

And we'd eaten a lot of ice cream (or gelato) 

Everywhere you go in Rome, there are ice cream shops (or gelaterias). Vast windows, crammed full of metal trays that overflow with brightly colored, carefully sculpted mounds of different flavored, iced creams.

Gaudy Roman gelato display

A gaudy Roman gelato display

These gaudy displays were hard to resist. So we didn't. And they must have tasted OK, as we kept going back for more. But I really don't remember any of them.

However, someone I knew had recommended a very particular gelateria. Or maybe I'd read about it in a guidebook. I don't remember now. This was a long time ago. Way before smart phones.

Anyway, this place was up somewhere near the Trevi fountain. So one evening, after a quick look at the baroque water feature, we went to check it out.

Il Gelato Di San Crispino

Il Gelato Di San Crispino

I think we arrived just as it opened as it was pretty much empty. But it was immediately, obviously different from the other gelaterias we'd visited.

There were no great waves of exotically coloured cream on display. Just a metal counter with a few sunken metal buckets under shiny lids. And a small sign next to each lid telling you which flavour lay hidden within.

As we entered, two workers wearing crisp white uniforms and serious expressions emerged from the back with fresh buckets of gelato to add to the counter. To be honest, it seemed more like a chemistry lab than a gelateria.

Anyway, we chose our ice creams, sight unseen. She had mandarin, I had fig. We made our way outside. And we sat on a wall outside, kicking our heels as we gave the small tubs of gelato exploratory licks...


And it was the most incredible thing I'd ever tasted.

It's difficult to describe. But it was like the very purest essence of perfectly ripe fig, delicately balanced in a perfectly cool, perfectly smooth, perfectly clean, milky suspension. Super intense, but not in any way overpowering or cloying.

I'd never tasted anything like it. And hers was pretty good too.

So that was when it started.

We never went back to that gelateria. And I've never been back to Italy. But that one ice cream on that cool spring evening in Rome always stayed with me, and it started a long, enduring obsession.

Wherever I am, whatever I'm doing, I'm always looking for "the perfect ice cream". But until now it's always proved elusive. Nothing I've bought has ever come close to the way I remember that simple fig gelato.

So more recently I've started making my own. And I'm not there yet. But I'm getting closer to that perfect ice cream every day!

We can all make the most amazing tasting ice cream at home. We should all make ice cream at home.

The stuff you buy in the shops will never taste anything like as good as the stuff you make at home. You have complete control over what goes in or what stays out. How healthy (or unhealthy) it is.

You can experiment with all sorts of crazy flavors. And the great thing is: even the strangest flavors usually taste pretty good in ice cream. It's hard to go wrong.

So I've started this website to try and make the best online homemade ice cream resource. I'll add everything I've learned and everything I'm going to learn.

I hope you find it useful.

About the author 


Wherever I am, whatever I'm doing, I'm always looking for the perfect ice cream. The "dream scoop". I document my findings, my successes and failures here...

  • Hello Carl, greetings from Johannesburg! I came across Dreamscoops by accident, while looking up info on stabilisers for homemade gelato recipes. I am a total and uninformed beginner at this science, initially attracted to the making of gelato about 2/3 months ago. Then, because I had registered on the Carpigiani website while browsing their products, I was invited to attend a 2-day workshop held by their South African distributor in JHB. Needless to say, I was totally blown away by this industry which I had barely taken notice of previously (other than eating store-bought or ultra-expensive Hagen-Daz icecream locally)

    So I began looking at machines, but my adult daughter beat me to it, giving me a basic machine (Krups GVS141) as a Father’s day gift. This will do for now.
    So now I’m not only hooked but also have a commitment to produce some exciting and great tasting gelato! 🙂

    Congratulations on your site – it is super-informative and reading the various sections make me even more committed to produce excellent gelato for the family! And, all going well, I will be able to make an informed choice of a serious gelato maker as a ‘to me from me’ Xmas present later this year. Once again, thank you for the inspiration and I’m sure I will be asking lots of questions in the near future!

    • Great stuff Raul! I’m really jealous that you’ve been able to see some working Carpigiani machines, that must have been fantastic. Good luck and I’m happy to answer any questions I can!

  • Hi Carl,

    I am so glad a found your website. I am trying to handover my nostalgia for Turkish ice cream to my kids, friends, and family. I believe I have found a good balance between taste and ease to make at home.

    If you have ever visited Turkey and tried its ice cream, you will know that it is a long and tedious process to make requiring lots of strength to beat that elastic dough!

    Anyway, I have been able to create this powder mix which only requires water and any cheap hand mixer to make that exotic ice cream at home. My only issue is that I am stuck using a whip cream powder to get my dry mix to fluff and become creamy enough when water is added.

    I don’t like that as there are some chemicals (safe) and ingredients I don’t recognize and I don’t feel great about it.

    Can you help me understand what kind of accessible emulsifiers I should use to replicate the effect of this pre-made whip cream powder (Dream Whip)?


    • Hi Yaser

      I’m a bit confused. The momosicecream.com you link to in your profile: is this the mix you’re talking about, the one that contains “some chemicals (safe) and ingredients I don’t recognize and I don’t feel great about it.”?


  • Carl,

    I have a new Lello 4080 and your review was invaluable for both content and insight. Thanks.
    Regarding the requirement to keep dry the gap between the central pin inside the barrel and the plastic that surrounds it, the easy and quick solution is to place a “latex finger cot” over the pin immediately upon removal of the dasher.

    At Amazon, of course, cheap by the hundreds.

    … just thought you would like to know.

    Hold fast,

    Chic Cullen
    The GeezerGourmet

  • Hey Carl! WOW your ice cream info is so super thorough! I’ve just started making ice creams because I don’t handle dairy well at all. It looks like guar gum is the way to go for getting myself and ice cream that’ll still be nice and creamy and help me skip the egg yolks (because I’m lazy).

    The only thing is, I don’t really have any dry ingredients to mix the guar gum with! So what would you recommend as a “mixing diluting agent” so that it gets mixed well before adding?

    For my ice creams I’ve been using:

    almond butter
    cashew butter (this is fairly dry…mix with guar?)
    coconut cream gelatin (gelatin dissolved in coconut cream)

    everything but the salt is wet…could I just mix it with salt? is that enough dry to mix it with?

  • Hi, can I please use your name for a reference in a paper I’m writing as well as the date that you wrote this article? I had to look up how lecithin emulsifies ice cream for one of the questions and I cited some of the information on here.

  • Hi Carl,
    Your website is a real treasure.
    I read your story about your Roman experience that motivate you to a quest for the perfect home ice cream.
    I would like to know, why the perfect home ice cream and why not trying to make the perfect gelato?
    I have been living in US for the past 20 years, but when I go back to Italy I always cheat on my dairy free and low carb diet for a good gelato.
    I recently bought a Musso gelateria and I started to experiment with gelato recipe but I am not even close to the gelato flavor back in Italy.
    Could you give me any suggestion for a good gelato?
    One last question. My child is lactose intolerant, so I usually use whole milk lactose free combined with half and half lactose free since I cannot find lactose free cream. My son has also nut allergy, so I cannot use almond milk and he really dislikes coconut milk. Is lactose free milk a problem for making a good gelato?
    Thank you

  • Hey Carl

    I’m writing a report for a science project on ice cream. I have to use quotes from websites and I really liked this one. The quotes have to have the author of the website and the date it was published. Obviously, this has neither shown in the article. If you could help me out and tell me where the date and your name are shown so that my science teacher can find it that would be very helpful!

    Best regards, Anonymous

  • This is one of the most informative websites on the internet. The directions are so clear and thorough. Kudos!

  • Hello Carl,

    I’ve never made ice cream and I’m debating which ice cream maker to buy. I’ve found this website very informative and I definitely know which ice cream makers I’ve ruled out.

    I am primarily interested in making low sugar or no sugar ice cream with fresh fruit.

    At first, I was thinking of the ICE 70. I’m hesitant because of the freezer bowl and needing to pre plan when to make ice cream as well as the amount of space the freezer bowl takes in the freezer. I’ve also read that the plastic lid on the top gets scraped from the paddle. Plastic flakes in ice cream don’t sound appealing.

    Advantages of the ICE 70 is that there is little to go wrong with the unit and it doesn’t require lots of space.

    Recently I’ve been offered a used 4080 for $400. I’ve no idea how old the unit is. I am aware that a used unit will not last as long as a new unit. Obviously, the life span of the machine is only as good as how long the compressor will last. I’m not sure how easy the bowl will be to clean as it’s not removable. We have a small kitchen, so space is an issue and the machine is too heavy to move around.

    Hubby is against me purchasing either machine and wants to continue to go out to ice cream stores to purchase ice cream. None of the ice cream stores near us have low sugar or sugar free options.

    Can you please share your expertise and use of the two machines which would you recommend and are there any pros and cons I’ve not considered.

    I’m undecided and completely confused.

    Thank you.

    • I’m so sorry for the late reply, Tina!

      In your circumstances, where you have limited space and your husband is somewhat resistant to your aspirations, I would say go with the ICE 70, or even the smaller ICE-21.

      I haven’t heard about the plastic lid issue, and to be honest it sounds like a faulty device or even just a mistake by the user. It certainly hasn’t happened with mine.

      If space is an issue, then the ICE-21 has a slightly smaller bowl.

      Anyway, with either the 70 or the 21, you can do some experimenting for a low initial investment. And either of those will be less disruptive than the 4080 to your home life!

      The reason I say this, is that making low or no sugar ice cream is challenging, and you may not like the results!

      This way, you won’t have to pay so much to find out if it is for you!

      I hope that helps, let me know what you go for!



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