Thursday, June 2, 2011

Perche' No

One of my friends has suggested that she would like to hear more about the food here.  Well, today is a great day to start doing just that because this morning started with one of the best and most unique foods of Florence, gelato!  In planning for the trip, I stumbled upon a newspaper article about UNESCO.  They are an organization that describes themselves as "A Guide to Florence's World heritage for students from students."  They have many social projects that are student oriented such as the Thailand project where students from Florence will be going to teach English to underpriviledged children in Thailand.  Anyway, as I was saying, in this article they talked about the organization and mentioned that they were trying to raise money for there Thailand trips by teaming up with Florence businesses to provide tours to students that would teach them more about the Florence culture.  Several emails later, we were able to set up dates and time, and today we visited the best gelateria in town, Perche' No.  It's located not far from the Palazzo Vecchio.  They are a true artisinal gelateria which means that all their gelatos are made by hand from fresh ingredients with no preservatives.  Anything that is not sold, must be disposed of every night.  So, all the gelatos are made new every morning.  The owner and gelato master talked with great pride about the making of gelato.  Then he
gave us several samples. 

First, he dished up pistacchio with fresh cream topped with sesame seeds, and then bitter chocolate with mango.  The combinations were the perfect mixture of flavors that tasted unbelievable when eaten together.  Who would have thought to mix chocolate and mango?  And separately they were very strong, but together they were an amazing blend. 

Next, he made fresh banana gelato which is actually called sorbetto, right in front of us.  Then the mixture was dumped into the cooling machine and 15 minutes later, we tasted freshly made gelato!  We were all amazed that the banana gelato was white and not yellow.  It's really a shame that in the US we are so accustomed to artificial colors and flavors. 

Overall, this was a wonderful experience and the students learned a lot about gelato and about one more important piece of the Florence culture.

So, my day started with 2 gelatos before noon. Not bad, huh?  But as the first owner of the gelateria said when trying to decide whether or not to go into business for himself...Perche' No....why not?!!!

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