Gelato Artigianale

March 8, 2010 / Food & Wine
Sipicciano, Lazio

Gelato of one kind or another has been popular in Italy for thousands of years. After the Civil War in the United States, Italian immigrants emerged in large cities as ice cream vendors called Hokey-Pokey Men.

The term “Hokey Pokey” presumably evolved from the Italian cry that the Italian vendors used as they hawked their cheap ice cream. “Ecco un poco” they’d cry (that’s Italian for “here’s a little”), or “O che poco” (Oh, how cheap). Hokey-pokey actually referred to cheap ice cream or ice milk.

gelato2Today in Italy, although manufactured ice cream is served at every local bar, artisans abound who produce their very own blends of gelato artigianale. With ice cream available year round, you’re never far from an exquisite treat, something to yearn for.

Every area has its favorite artisan. Here, Walter is the local king at Caffè Gelateria di Walter. He has turned out daily mixtures of the freshest fruit and cream for devotees for the past thirty years. We’ve tasted gelato all over Italy and we think “our” king is the real deal.


Evanne Brandon-Diner

by Evanne Brandon-Diner

Chronicler of local village life in Northern Lazio, and property restoration and purchasing consultant.

8 Responses to “Gelato Artigianale”

  1. Stef Smulders

    Yes, everyone has his/her favorite place to buy the icecream, doesn’t he/she? Ours is in Stradella, produces the most delicious nocciola, my favorite flavour.

  2. Love it! Gelato and your note! Interesting history on the hokey pokey too – I had never heard that. Thanks!

  3. Joe Annechino


    This is a wonderful piece! If you’re confident of its accuracy, I’d ask your permission to include it (the origin part) in a column I write for the Kennett Area Senior Center’s newsletter.

    I will not proceed until I hear from you, but would appreciate your “OK” as soon as it’s convenient for you.

    Thanks a lot.

    (610) 444-3115

  4. Giovanna

    That gelato is just the greatest stuff. I took my granddaughters to Italy last year and they couldn’t get enough of it. Hazelnut is the BEST!!!

  5. Stanley Crabb

    Regarding il vostro migliore gelato in Italia — I’m sorry, KB: the absolute BEST gelato in Italy (having tasted it all over during our 27 year Italian life, si trova ora a Firenze! They include the gelatterie just on the city-side of Ponte Vecchio on the right. And another located on the left side of of the Arno on the down-stream corner. As an ice cream lover, NEVER have I tasted any better. The couple who run it make their own ice cream in many flavors in their basement. The “bottega” is usually packed with people during the day and especially at night up to midnight and beyond. WOW. Incredibile. I recommend it without reservation. Regards. SC

  6. Confession time: I’ve had gelato for dinner many times in Rome because then I do it without guilt. My favorite – within walking distance of my apartment in Campo de’ Fiori – is San Crispino. No panna (whipped cream), no drippy chocolate sauce required. All flavors are heavenly, and so how can something so close to God create guilt.

  7. What an adorable picture of those little girls! As for gelato, since I walk everywhere here in Bolzano, I feel justified walking over to the best gelato place in town every afternoon in season (they don’t open again in April), so your post just whetted my appetite for when that place finally opens. Mmmm. Great post!


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