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Gelati, sherbets, and more

Italy has a long tradition of ice creams and frozen ices -- Maria de'Medici introduced them to the French -- and there's nothing quite so refreshing as a tasty ice cream in summer.

Ice Creams and Sherbets: Gelati and Sorbetti
About ice creams and sherbets, which are wonderful in the summer and perfect year round.

Watermelon Sherbet, Trancio d'Anguria
Watermelon is a delightfully sensual fruit, and also one of the most refreshing things there is when it's really hot out. Alas, a slice isn't quite right for an elegant summer dinner party. This watermelon sherbet, on the other hand, is.

A Simple Strawberry Shake -- Frullato di Fragole
Strawberries are, well, healthy, and you might be surprised to see how long the yogurt isle is in the average Italian supermarket. The combination of yogurt and strawberries is an excellent source of both vitamins and calcium, and is extremely easy to prepare. In short, perfect for kids (to make).

Drunken Watermelon with Ice Cream, or Anguria Imbrigà col Gelato
Drunken Watermelon with Ice Cream, or Anguria Imbrigà col Gelato: This sounds quite modern, but is actually an old family recipe that Amadeo Sandri's grandmother used to prepare. It calls for light rum, and depending upon the age of the intended audience you can either increase or decrease the amount. To serve 6:

Chocolate and Almond Ice Cream -- Gelato di Cioccolata e Mandorle
Chocolate and Almond Ice Cream, or Gelato di Cioccolata e Mandorle: Almonds and chocolate, a heavenly combination! And if you want something slightly different, use hazelnuts. That combination -- chocolate and hazelnuts -- is the basis for.... Nutella.

Creamy Orange Ice Cream -- Gelato d'Arancia alla Crema
Creamy Orange Ice Cream, or Gelato d'Arancia alla Crema: Rich and quite refreshing.

Fig Ice Cream -- Gelato di Fichi
Fig Ice Cream, or Gelato di Fichi: A classic late summer delight.

Watermelon Sherbet -- Sorbetto di Anguria
Watermelon Sherbet, or Sorbetto di Anguria: It's hard to imagine anything more refreshing than chilled watermelon, but this will be.

Yogurt Ice Cream -- Gelato di Yogurt
Yogurt Ice Cream, or Gelato di Yogurt: Yogurt adds a pleasing liveliness to ice cream, and makes it very refreshing too. The recipe calls for fruit, which can be whatever you choose that's fresh and ripe. You can also make plain yogurt ice cream, which is perfect on a hot day.

Lemon Granita, Granita al Limone, or Italian Lemon Ice
A granita is a Sicilian delight, shaved ice flavored to taste with the flavoring of choice, and my personal favorite is lemon. Making lemon granita is very easy, and lemon granita is also extraordinarily refreshing.

Coffee Granita, Granita al Caffè, or Italian Iced Coffee
A granita is a Sicilian delight, shaved ice flavored to taste with the flavoring of choice, and coffee is one of the finest options going. A coffee granita is perfect on a hot afternoon or evening, and if you want to make it a little richer (and much more libidinous) you can top it with a dollop of whipped cream. Coffee granita is also a classic summer breakfast in Sicily.

Strawberry Cremolata -- Cremolata di Fragole
Marie asks for a recipe for cremolata, a treat I'm not familiar with because it's not made in Tuscany. Turns out that cremolata is quite similar to a sherbet, which is filtered fruit juice that's combined with a sweet syrup and stirred about so as to become creamy as it freezes, though in the case of the cremolata the fruit juice is not filtered. Therefore the gelato has fruit fibers in it and will be more richly flavored, assuming the fruit was perfectly ripe to begin with.

Peach Cremolata -- Cremolata di Pesche
Marie asks for a recipe for cremolata, a treat I'm not familiar with because it's not made in Tuscany. Turns out that cremolata is quite similar to a sherbet, which is filtered fruit juice that's combined with a sweet syrup and stirred about so as to become creamy as it freezes, though in the case of the cremolata the fruit juice is not filtered. Therefore the gelato has fruit fibers in it and will be more richly flavored, assuming the fruit was perfectly ripe to begin with.

Lemon Ice
Lemon Ice: Aggie, who has kindly shared several recipes, says: "This is a Lemon Ice recipe from a friend in CT who said it was passed down from her Italian ancestors. We have enjoyed it."

Cheese Ice Cream -- Formaggio Gelato
Formaggio Gelato, or Cheese Ice Cream: Though one might expect this to be innovative, I have found it in a number of cookbooks, including some older ones. It's the perfect cheese course with which to end a meal on a hot day, and with a good slightly chilled dessert wine will be sublime.

Tea Puff -- Spumone di The
Though coffee ice cream is fairly obvious, fewer people think of tea, and this is a pity because a good tea-based chilled dessert along the lines of this tea puff is every much as refreshing as iced tea.

Roman Style Punch -- Ponce alla Romana
This citrus sherbet "has only recently become popular for formal dinners," wrote Artusi, "and is generally served before the roast, because it helps the stomach to digest and primes it to receive the rest of the meal without becoming upset."

Banana Sherbet -- Gelato di Banane
When Artusi presented this recipe in 1891 he felt it necessary to describe bananas, which were at the time quite exotic. No longer, but the presentation is neat and the recipe is good.

Cherry Sherbet -- Gelato Di Ciliege Visciole
Visciole cherries are rich, and especially flavorful, but they are Italian. Use whatever kind is especially good where you live to make this cherry sherbet.

Amaretto Ice Cream -- Gelato di Amaretti
Amaretto Ice Cream, rich, rather decadent, and thoroughly nice.

Chilled Cream, or Bisque -- Artusi's Pezzo In Gelo (Bisquit)
This chilled cream, from Artusi, is quite similar in some ways to panna cotta.

Apricot or Peach Sherbet -- Gelato di Albicocche o Pseche
Apricot and Peach Sherbet: Two superb ways to enjoy the summer months.

Strawberry Sherbet -- Gelato di Fragole
Strawberry Sherbet: The essence of spring!

Lemon Sherbet -- Gelato di Limone
Lemon Sherbet: What could be more refreshing in summer? It's also excellent for perking up the appetite between courses in a formal meal.

Coffee Ice Cream -- Gelato di Caffé
This makes quite a bit of coffee ice cream, which makes it perfect for a picnic or cookout.

Chocolate Ice Cream -- Gelato di Cioccolata
This makes a lot, but can one ever have too much chocolate ice cream?

Almond Ice Cream -- Gelato alla Crema di Mandorla
Almond Ice Cream: Simple to make and quite tasty.

Vanilla Ice Cream -- Gelato di Crema alla Vaniglia
Vanilla Ice Cream is perhaps the quintessential ice cream -- perfect for toppings and goes well with all others.

Syrups: Siroppi
Fruit syrups, the foundations of Italian Ices and wonderful ice cream toppings besides.

Cantaloupe Mousse: Mousse al Melone
Cantaloupe mousse, a delightfully refreshing summer treat.

How to Make a Granita al Limone
Classic Sicilian refreshment, and little is better on a hot day.

Peach & Wine Sorbet
From Peggy Towbridge of Home Cooking.

Strawberry Watermelon Slush
A cocktail one could quite easily find in Italy too.

Tiramisu (Frozen)
It's rather like the classic tiramisu, but made with soft ice cream instead, and lots of chocolate.

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