"I scream,You scream,We all scream for Ice Cream"

Everything you wanted to know about Italian Ice Cream

Archive for May, 2010

Antonio Cappadonia

Antonio Cappadonia is the director of the Sherbeth Festival in Cefalù and the winner of several national and international ice cream-making competitions.

He was born in Cerda,a little village on Madonie mountains,about 60 km from Palermo.He started his career as an ice cream-maker in 1987 thanks to the opening of the ice cream kiosk ” Gelateria Cappadonia” of Roma Street. Antonio empowered his knowledge attending the most important ice cream conventions and refresher courses. From 1996 to 2006 he has been member of Italian Ice Cream-making Academy and Sicily fiduciary.

Technique and passion are part of Cappadonia’s career as he aims to enhance the old flavours “respecting tradition and without refusing the experimentation of new tastes”.

Among the most known flavours of his creation there is the artichoke one,typical local product,and Targa Florio flavour,tribute to the famous car race to whom Cerda is connected.

This is what Cappadonia thinks about his job: “It’s the art to elaborate,structure and compose the ice cream in a range of flavours and personalised recipes,which requires long time,accurate raw materials,intersection of scents and tastes that only the lab experience – silent,patient and creative – can generate”.

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Motta:Enter The Magic

Throughout the years Motta ice creams have given to Italians moments of unique pleasure with innovative and high quality products. Coppa del nonno,Maxibon,La Cremeria:are only some of Motta’s successes,which have made the history of ice cream and which are famous even today!

Motta was born in 1919 in a small lab in Via Chiusa in Milan,thanks to Angelo Motta and it produced at first only Panettone. In 1953 the ice cream division  was opened with the famous Mottarello,the ice cream stick made of chocolate and cream. From then on the company has evolved with new innovative products,able to create real trends;in the 70’s the ice cream division is incorporated in Itagel which is sold in 1993 to Nestlè,the biggest food company in the world.

Nowadays the production is essentially carried out in the 2 factories in Parma and Ferentino:both of them have a productive technology which is innovative and modern,thanks to research and development projects and big investments. The products can be consumed at home or at the bar and interesting are the ones thought specifically for children:they can link fun with nutritional values,essential for a good afternoon snack.

The Made In Italy Value

According to the last Confartigianato data,in Italy there are 36.970 ice cream kiosks,about 10% more than 5 years ago;Italian ice cream-making is spreading quickly abroad since there are around 20.000 parlours. In the ice cream field there are 150.000 workes as regard Italy and 100.000 abroad.

The largest number of ice cream parlours is in Lombardy with 6.093 labs,followed by Veneto with 3.512 and Emilia Romagna with 3.273. However the highest increasing rate between 2004 and the first quarter of 2009 has been registered in central Italy where the kiosks increased of 12,9%. The most dynamic regions were Lazio(+15,2%),Puglia(+13,8%),Sicily and Abruzzo(+12%).

As regard ice cream consumption,more than half of it is concentrated in the north of Italy(52,9%),where the product is bought costantly along the year.On the contrary in the south,where the consumption is 29,4% of the whole,the sales are concentrated especially during the summer. In central Italy the consumption is of 17,6%.In 2009 has been estimated that the national consumption has been around 36.000 tons,almost 6 kg per capita,creating a business of 2,5 billions of euros,which gets to 3,5 if we consider also the machines,systems and ingredients sectors.

We can consider also the sector of displays and furnishing for ice cream kiosks,which is important since it produces a business of 300 millions of euros and emploies from 1500 to 2000 workes. In the Export field the supremacy is held by Germany;an increasing trend is the one of the USA,eastern Europe,the East and Australia.

Special Guest:My Grandmother

As I said in my blog presentation my grandmother worked in an ice cream kiosk named La Cremeria di Pusiano,owned by my grandfather’s sister,Luisa. It’s in the centre of a little village near Como,by a little lake.In order to cover better the theme of ice cream I decided to interview her and listen to her experience.

How long did grandad’s sister owned the kiosk and how long did you worked there?

La Cremeria was opened by Luisa in 1963 in the centre of Pusiano,exactly on one side of the little lake,therefore in an awsome position also for tourists;I started working there moreless in the same period but only on Sundays and holidays.

Could you tell me something about the history of that kiosk,I mean,why Luisa opened it?

You know,it was the result of friendship and dissatisfaction about the previous job. She used to work in the hall of a nearby hotel but she could not stand that kind of job;it happened that one of her friend was selling a place on the lake of Pusiano and therefore she decided to start her own activity,also thanks to the same friend who help her through the first period. Another thing to say is that Luisa paid the kiosk little by little,by instalments,thanks to the later profits of the kiosk.

What was exactly the composition of the personnel and which was the opening and closing time?

Well,during the week there were only 3 or 4 people working there together with Luisa,while during weekends we were in 6 or 7 because the clients were more;usually on Saturdays and Sundays some young boys and girls used to help us. As regard the time,it was from 7 a.m. till 10 p.m. except during summer since in the evening was from 9 to 12,after a break for dinner. The closing day was Tuesday.

Tell me something about the production of ice cream.

 We had a small laboratory behind the kiosk but,differently from other ice cream parlours,we didn’t control all the process,in the sense that we had the ingredients ready and we had only to put them in the mixing machine;we used a tin of mixture of flavour and a tin of water for fruit ice cream and a tin of flavour and one of milk for creams. Luisa dealt with suppliers whereas me and your grandfather used to prepare the ice cream and also to sell it. I remember that the little cone cost 1200 liras and the bigger one 3000. La Cremeria was also a bar and therefore we sold any kind of drink and sweets,such as typical cakes. When it opened was one of the few ice cream kiosks nearby and,thanks to its position on the lake,was quite known.

There were a lot of people then…

Of course. During the week there were especially workers in the morning and kids in the middle of the afternoon. The peak period was however the weekend and excatly from 2 p.m. to 7 p.m. Some of the customers were just passing whereas others used to stay at La Cremeria for a while,sitting at the tables in front of the kiosk,in the garden or on the terrace. The busiest day was the one of the village feast when there were also fireworks on the lake and therefore people used to have an ice cream on the terrace watching the spectacle.  Anyway the kiosk used to earn 1 milion liras a day.

The last question,what is the bright side,the advantage of this kind of job? 

First of all the contact with people and the possibilty to see people who come and go,you know,you can’t get bored. Besides it was a little village and therefore we usaully know anyone and so there was also the time for talking with customers;we were in a good position and we loved what we were doing and that’s the most important thing I guess.