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Thursday, December 26, 2013

Sweet Ginger's Gelato

Sweet Ginger's Gelato

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is a gelato manufacturing facility a few minutes east of the airport in Fort Myers, FL. The owner started in Chicago with a food truck selling commercially produced gelato. A friend asked her if she had ever tried Italian gelato. On a subsequent trip to Italy she did and caught the "gelato bug". She went back to learn how to make gelato at the Gelato Professional School through Frigomat a company that makes gelato machines. She also attended Gelato University which is sponsored by a competitor gelato machine company, Carpigiani. She has also trained under Master Gelato Chef, Gabriele Scarponi, who periodically comes over from Italy to assist her in developing new gelato products.  

Learning about gelato was interesting. What is the difference between Gelato and Ice Cream? It basically comes down to 3 factors, fat, churning method and serving temperature. These 3 factors produce a product that is creamer and denser than ice cream. Fruit-based gelatos, which have a very low fat content, are popular in Southern Italy. Cream-based gelatos with, for example, chocolate or nutty flavors are popular in Northern Italy.
Gelato bases, or the vehicle for the flavoring, comes in 3 varieties. There is a milk-based or white base. There is also a yellow base, which is a milk base with eggs added to it. This produces a custard-like consistency. One would use this to produce a  Zabaglione gelato, also known as Italian eggnog. Fruit bases are high in water and low in fat.

They were experimenting with caramel gelatos that day in their preparation area.
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The ingredients were measured, in this case 70% liquid and 30% solids, mixed




and put into a batch heat treatment machine. This warms the mixture to 185 F and then cools it down to about 39 F. This is not about Pasteurization but more about melding the flavors together.

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The processed ingredients are then removed
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and placed into a gelato machine



where it is churned, cooled and placed into 5 L containers which can serve about 35 people. To finish the product, it is briefly flash frozen to put a protective and aesthetically pleasing shell on top of the gelato.

This was a batch of salted caramel and it was beyond delicious.
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Part of the reason the owner started this is to have this type of product prepared locally. She transports her product on food trucks, which have kitchens and display cases. She sells at wholesale, to country clubs and restaurants. She also is a retail supplier, selling to weddings, corporate and private events.

As her product is never frozen, she has a supply radius of about 100 miles.

They can produce virtually any flavor of gelato from Balsamic Vinegar/Truffle Oil, tomato/ginger or more traditional.
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I can't wait until local retailers start carrying this as it's such a great product.

For those that are interested, here is a short video on Sweet Ginger's gelato that was aired recently on our local CBS affiliate.



 

There you have it, another review on forks.

Sweet Ginger's Gelato
12811 Commerce Lakes Dr. Ste. 23
Fort Myers, FL 33913
(239)877-3280
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