Soft Gelato. Past and Future
Once upon a time it was gelato soft serve or gelato with a curl. We need to clarify a few points. Gelato produced with soft equipment is a gelato frozen like the kind sold in the display cases of traditional gelato shops, probably the only difference in terms of production is that it is produced when it is ordered, in front of the customer, so it is called “express” gelato.
The word soft conveys the sensation of warmth and lightness associated with enjoying this product directly from the machine and made even softer by the amount of air that is incorporated during express freezing.
As for the ingredients, if you pour into the machine an
artisanal liquid base you will get an artisanal soft gelato, otherwise…you will still get a product that is structurally perfect!
Over the last 20 years, this gelato has been somewhat maligned and identified as the gelato of big fast food chains or as the poor cousin of artisanal gelato for the display case. However, for some years now, thanks to the emergence of successful businesses that have been able to grasp the potential of this product – often based on a self-service model – “soft” gelato is going through a period of reassessment, playing with ingredients that are increasingly natural, seasonal, and trendy, and reintroducing the soft machine alongside the artisanal display case as a complement to sales and a deseasonalized product.
The objective of this notebook is to clear up some common misconceptions, maximize the profits of this extraordinary product, and to optimize the investment in soft gelato equipment, reinventing it as a producer of single portions, cakes, and other frozen specialties.
For this reason, for this second Notebook I have asked for some help from Roberto and Antonio of the Vanilla gelato shop in Legnano, two young men and extraordinary entrepreneurs who have been able to make the most of soft gelato’s potential.
All the images published next to the recipes are photos of the product, real jewels, that the owners of Vanilla have been selling for a few years as a complement to the more traditional products.