6

About me

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 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 coloured, carefully sculpted mounds of different flavoured, iced creams.

Gaudy Roman gelato display

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...

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 her's 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 flavours. And the great thing is: even the strangest flavours 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.

Click Here to Leave a Comment Below 6 comments
Raul Del Fabbro - June 20, 2018

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!
Cheers
Raul

Reply
    Carl - June 20, 2018

    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!

    Reply
Yaser Shaban Kabakibo - July 31, 2018

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)?

Thanks
Yaser

Reply
    Carl - August 2, 2018

    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.”?

    Thanks
    Carl

    Reply
Chic Cullen - August 15, 2018

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

Reply
    Carl - August 15, 2018

    Thanks Chic! Great choice. And good tip 🙂

    Reply

Leave a Reply: