Gelato Diaries: Gelateria della Passera, Florence

Sunday, September 11, 2016

I was introduced to this little gem only a couple of days after moving to Florence by my flatmate (now a month and a half ago, I can't believe it's gone so fast already!) and I have recommended it to so many people since. Everyone loves it. This is one of the best things about having a flatmate who knows the city that you live in very well, you get to know all the best places without having to sift through all of the overpriced/tourist/simply bad ones.

Hazelnut, Pistachio & Coffee

This one is called Gelateria della Passera and you can find it in Via Toscanella 15/r (map below). In Italy you always have to be careful with the numbers because the red ones are for businesses and the others are for houses, /r means it's a red number (like you can see on the right in the picture above).  I realised this when I was visiting a friend's house and google maps told me I was there when in reality I was standing in front of a bar... I have gotten lost and been confused with this so many times so watch out!

The history of this place is quite cute. After seeing that a little food shop had closed down in Piazza della Passera (in Oltrarno, the other side of the river), Cinzia and Marco (who own the famous Caffè Degli Artigiani) immediately rented it with the intention for it to be a little kitchen for their cafe. Unfortunately, they realised that because the building was so old the chimney wasn't working and was beyond repair. They didn't know what to do as they had already rented the place, so the couple started brainstorming some ideas and eventually decided on opening a gelateria as Marco loves ice cream so much!

Cinzia already had some basic knowledge on how to make good ice cream, however she enrolled in courses at the Gelato University of Bologna. Is a Gelato University actually a thing? Apparently it is and if the whole generic UK university thing doesn't work out for me I might just permanently move to Italy and make (eat) gelato all day long. Anyway, Cinzia fell in love with the art of making gelato (it is an art after all) and explained how the course had two stages. One where they taught the chemistry and physics of making ice cream, and another where they actually practised in the kitchens. After her course they finally opened in 2010 which I am SO happy about because it's seriously one of the best gelato places in town.

What I love about this place is that they use really fresh ingredients some of which are local as well (so less destruction to the environment through long transport - yay!) such as Tuscan milk, nuts, eggs, honey and the fruits which are in season. They also don't use stabilisers or emulsifiers which means that the gelato is only good for 3 days maximum (but also means that you know that you're getting something fresh). Apparently the ice cream is kept in cylindrical tubs (unlike a lot of the gelateria's in Florence and Italy in general, who have mountains of gelato piled up) because it is temperature and light sensitive, meaning that those places I mentioned must use un sacco di (a lot of, literally translated a bag of, lol) preservatives so that their products don't change colour. Seriously, I have seen so many gelateria's with the puffo (smurf) flavour which is a worrying shade of blue. What even is smurf flavour!?

The best thing about all of this is that they're not even expensive! At only 1 euro a scoop you can go wild and pick any flavour you want (what's great is that they also have a lot of milk-free options, perfect for those who are lactose intolerant or are just dairy free/trying to cut down in general).

Coffee (from the famous cafe close by), Chocolate, Cream, Nougat, Hazelnut, Pistachio, Vanilla, Yoghurt, Eggnog, Cassata (Neopolitan ice cream with fruit and nuts),  Ricotta & Cinnamon. Without milk: Fig, Banana, Lemon, Raspberry, Mojito, Almond, Peach, Pink grapefruit, Watermelon.
I have tried the hazelnut (favourite gelato flavour ever), pistachio, coffee, raspberry (without milk) and mojito (without milk) and I have to say that the mojito flavour is AMAZING. Seriously, it's so refreshing on a hot day and i've been dreaming about it every time it's a day over 30 degrees (which is thankfully starting to stop).

Raspberry & Mojito 
Check them out! They're in such a cute square with little benches and a few restaurants so i'm sure you'll enjoy it. Here's a map so you can find it more easily, Alexandra x

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