Michele: Maestro Gelataio Creativo (Creative Ice Cream Maker Maestro) – The first time I heard about him was about a very “azzardato” (risky) ice cream flavour ….Un gelato al Cacciucco…an ice cream flavour born as a “game” between Michele Gasparri, Maestro Pasticciere & Gelataio , and the Chef Michelangelo Rongo who, as a joke , asked him : If I give you my best Cacciucco, are you able to make it into an ice cream?”
And…as Michele I guess likes challenges, he , of course , said “ Perchè no? – Why not? Let me study it tonight…”
For those of you who have never heard of cacciucco , the story may not appear so strange, but…for those who know and have tried the typical dish from the Thyrennian coast (a fish soup with a very long and delicate preparation) the idea of transforming it in to an ice cream is far more than we can even imagine.
Check people reactions in this video…
The experiment was a success indeed.
Those who tried are not able to define the flavour…Perfect Italian language exercise for how to use and find new adjectives to describe something…(nè dolce, né salato…buono…strano…azzardato…) The Cacciucco ice cream was then presented at Slow Fish Food 2017 in Genova and was received with great interest. A unique product with no milk or dairy products.
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Winner of several national competitions for Artisanal Ice Cream Makers, Michele is not new to these kinds of experiments. He is a Maestro Gelataio Creativo and his fame reached me before I had the time to meet him in person. Even if I like new things and I am a Gelato Lover …I think I will stick to more conventional “gusti” (flavours) but definitely I have to try his Gelato alla Colomba and Gelato alla Schiacciata di Pasqua , two typical cakes part of the Italian Easter tradition , not to mention his brilliant idea of a Gelato al Pane Burro e Marmellata (Bread Jam & Butter, a typical children’s snack in Italy)
Michele takes inspiration from his region and, even more specifically, from his part of Tuscany : the Coast around Livorno and the local recipes part of the culinary tradition.
One of the first Street Food which actually dates back to the Etruscan time, is the so-called “5 and 5 – Cinque & Cinque “ ..which stands for five old Liras of schiaccia (flat salted bread) and five liras of Torta di ceci ( chickpea pancake)… Torta di ceci is made with chickpea flour ,water ,oil ,salt and pepper and there are numerous images showing Etruscans eating it at their table. It is part of my Summer time memories, something I always buy when I go back to the Coast. However…Michele’s Cinque & Cinque Ice cream still is something I haven’t tried yet!
Michele personally manages his Gelateria Fiori Rosa in Viale Italia , Livorno, his home town, so you can meet him there but only when he is not busy with his other project with consulting and training courses for patissiers and ice cream makers.
So next time you are in Livorno or on your way back from a day at the beach, don’t forget to stop at his Gelateria: it’s no ordinary gelato experience here !