Articolo disponibile anche in: Italian
Ask anyone about Castellina in Chianti, and they’ll tell you that it’s “where… the good ice cream is made”.
The Gelateria di Castellina is in fact an obligatory stop for any Sunday trip in the area, and it’s been so for more than twenty years. There are people who drive for an hour to satisfy their unstoppable craving for ice cream.
Formerly known as “Gelateria l’Antica Delizia”, two years ago it changed its name and moved just outside the Castellina town centre. It has a large garden with tables, and has become a meeting place for many local families.
But let’s go and meet these “ice cream wizards”.
Simone Municchi and Chiara Polvani, started this business almost by accident. “We came to Castellina by mistake,” Simone begins. “I wanted to open my gelateria in Gaiole and instead we ended up here!”.
“At the beginning our ice cream was a little bit richer in fat and sugar. Then we evolved to suit market demands” – he says – “Today we make our product less fat and a little less sweet. People today are looking for ice cream that tastes as natural as possible”.
“Creativity is vital when it comes to mixing ingredients. It’s about reaching a balance. If you add something more to a flavour, it doesn’t mean you make it better. Sometimes you need to learn how to leave an ingredient out”.
“My goal is to create tastiness – adds Simone – When you try a good quality ice cream, you immediately recognise the flavour you’re eating. There must be no doubt. If I order pistachio, I want to savour all the nuances of this flavour”.
“Over the years – he continues – our recipes have evolved. For us it’s a natural process. You must be fully aware of how taste and market demand can change, and be prepared to better your offering. The food business is a competitive market, and to leave your mark you must offer people something that is truly special, truly yours”.
That’s how you attract and keep costumers” continues our ice cream maker “Tradition and evolution are the key words. I’ve tried to create a cosy, welcoming place. People must feel at home in our shop. Beyond the product, even the place is important, just as important as our collaborators. This year with us there are: Sonia, Mercedes, Teresa, Laura, Sara and Katia, a precious help in managing the gelateria”.
“The ice cream I produce speaks of me. If I come across an ingredient by accident, I start wondering how I could use it. The taste I’m going to create must transmit something special. So that I can pass it on to my customers”, he continues enthusiastically.
Ice cream is our cornerstone, but you can also find crepes, milkshakes, yogurt, smoothies and tasty cakes. We use artisanal double waffled cones. Our ice cream brings to the palate the taste of top quality ingredients. It fills heart and mouth with joy.
“For our gelato we use only high quality, 100% Tuscan milk”, Simone explains.
And the ice cream man is like an alchemist, who carefully doses all the different ingredients in his laboratory.