Summer Cremolate

June 29, 2015 / Food & Wine
Rome, Lazio
With summer finally here, Signor Umberto’s organic fruit garden is in full swing, and therefore so is his production of cremolate, a frozen fruit pulp delight.

The current (early summer) selection? Lemon, apricot, pineapple, melon, peach, kiwi, strawberry, and orange. And next week perhaps watermelon too … “if they’re ready and sweet enough,” he says.

As I’m ooh-ing and ahh-ing, he gets a devilish grin, goes to the back of the café, and pulls out two more containers from the freezer.

“These here are the really special ones. I don’t put them out because then they would get sold!” I’m not arguing the “logic.”

And sure enough, he’s done it again. The first is mora di gelso or mulberry, as in from the silk worm tree. One of the most unique and delicate flavors you can possibly come across. The second is visciole, a wild and minuscule Italian variety of Sour Cherry. It took him 8 hours of pitting and prep to make 2 quarts of this one.

“I could make bigger quantities, but then it wouldn’t be the same. I would need to use lesser quality ingredients. And where’s the fun in that?”

Not arguing that either!

Bar Orchidea, Corso Vittorio Emmanuele II, 2/2a, in Piazza del Gesú, Rome


by GB Bernardini

Editor, Italian Notebook

17 Responses to “Summer Cremolate”

    • Gian Banchero

      Thank you Mary for the recipe for what sounds like a fantastic “slush” drink, for sure I’ll be making the recipe soon. I’m thinking the drink would go well WITH fish dishes.

  1. Sounds fantastic! But how is this different from granita? Same ingredients, no? Eagerly awaiting more info.

  2. Giuseppe Spano
    Giuseppe Spano

    If in America, he is completely illogical, But in Italia so perfectly reasonable! How can you not love them?

  3. Linda Boccia

    Those looked so delicious that I wanted a big spoon to taste all of them! thanks GB

  4. Ann Helgeson

    I love people like this. People who strive for perfection, forgetting about profit. That’s the way life should be.

  5. 8 hours to pit the cherries alone! And the mulberry sounds amazing. The craftsmanship that goes into every little thing is nothing short of inspiring. Thanks, GB!

  6. We visited Umberto’s twice back in 2009. The first time we happened to stumble upon his shop. We made sure to come back before we left Rome.

    We will return this May and visiting this kind man is definitely on our list. Not only the best gelato, but also very good pizza and even hamburgers.

    Go. And make sure you get to talk with Umberto.

  7. Gian Banchero

    Yes, my friends and I here in California eat supermarket brand “ice cream” by the gallons when there’s movie night at my home, but I had to solve the problem of not having true Italian gelato so a few years back I bought a rather large gelato maker from Italy… Problem solved!!!!!!! Grazie GB!


Leave a Reply