Gelato Isn’t Supposed to Be Chewy

There is a Gelato Fiasco cookbook!! When I saw it, I knew I had to try it! But the folks at Gelato Fiasco can rest assured, I won’t be posing a threat to their success! Along the way, my gelato turned chewy, and believe me chewy gelato is yucky, but it was worth trying and I will try it again in the future.

Gelato Fiasco: Recipes and Stories from America’s Best Gelato Makers by Joshua Davis, Bruno Tropeano, and Cynthia Finnemore Simonds was released in September, 2018 by Down East Books, and the book is beautiful from the front cover to the final page.

You need to read the cookbook before beginning the gelato making process. The story of Gelato Fiasco’s beginning is fun and interesting, but more importantly, they discuss the process of gelato making and why certain ingredients matter. Gelato does take time to make due to the freezing process and the steps required in making the base and any flavors you want to add. I had to read through the recipes and directions a few times and I made sure I had all ingredients on hand. Running to the grocery store because I forgot something would have been catastrophic! The key to a successful gelato is the freezing process, and believe me, it’s important.

Every gelato begins with a base, and then you add ingredients depending on the flavor you desire. I made the Classic White Gelato Base with the Wild Maine Blueberry variegate (that’s the fancy term for fruit additions) to add to it. The key to a successful gelato is the freezing process, and believe me, it’s important.

Once I decided what flavor I wanted, I chose my base and gathered the ingredients. The base I made called for guar gum which I found at Morning Glory Natural Foods in Brunswick. You can substitute eggs for the guar gum if you prefer not to use it, but I wanted to try it. The rest of the ingredients are pretty basic and easy to find. The key to a successful gelato is the freezing process, and believe me, it’s important

As I mentioned, the freezing process is vital to a good gelato. They suggest using an ice cream maker, but they do offer an option if you do not have one. There are also some other tools they prefer to use, but I used what I had. For instance they suggested a certain type of thermometer for the cooking step when making the base, but I used my candy thermometer and that seemed to work fine.

I followed the recipes exactly as they directed, so why did my gelato turn out chewy? Have I  mentioned that the key to a successful gelato is the freezing process? Everything seemed like it was progressing along well – it looked like gelato, it smelled like gelato, it tasted like gelato until I took it out of my ice cream maker. Unbeknownst to me, at some point my ice cream maker stopped churning on the inside, although everything looked fine from the outside, so the gelato on the bottom was frozen, but the gelato on top wasn’t quite so frozen. But I pressed on. I thought really, how much of a difference will it make? The key to a successful gelato is the freezing process, and believe me, it’s important. I folded in the blueberry variegate and put it in the freezer.

Gelato should not be chewy. Chewy gelato is yucky. Even though it looked like gelato, and it looked beautiful, it had a taste related to gelato but that was not gelato. Even if you do not want to try and make gelato, I suggest you read the cookbook anyway. The photos  are pieces of art all by themselves, and there are recipes for foods that are added to gelato that sound yummy even if you don’t make the gelato like the brownies and the peanut brittle.

Though my gelato was a failure, I enjoyed the process and next time I visit Gelato Fiasco whatever flavor I get will taste just a little bit sweeter.