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? Wild berries, 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?”
Bar Orchidea, Corso Vittorio Emmanuele II, 2/2a, in Piazza del Gesú, Rome