Pizzo is a seaside town in the north of Calabria. It is also home to the most delectable ice cream dessert, the tartufo.
The History Of Tartufo
Legend has it that tartufo was invented in 1952. A manager of a local gelateria was serving guests at the wedding of some wealthy locals in town. He realised with horror that he did not have enough cups left to serve gelato to all the guests.
At that moment he had a stroke of genius and he made a ball of hazelnut gelato and covered it with a layer of chocolate gelato. He then put melted chocolate in the middle, wrapped it up and refroze it. Hey presto he invented a new type of ice cream that could be served on a plate.
Tartufo now has protected geographical status and every day people flock to the bar to taste the original recipe. However, all the other bars in the town have now caught onto the same idea. There are currently twelve different artisanal gelato shops in Pizzo. Therefore it now has the nickname “La Citta del Gelato” – the City Of Gelato. The original recipe is still a secret!
Pick your favourite!
Nowadays, there’s more than one flavour of tartufo. The only rule is that it has to contain two different flavours. There are different fillings of fruit. Tartufo can also have different fillings, such as pistachio cream, lemon and the local bergamot.
There is also the one you might recognise from the UK, where they roll the tartufo in cocoa powder to resemble a truffle.
My favourite is the “affogato” which means “drowned.” They pour the local Calabrian liqueur ‘Amaro del Capo’ over the top. Booze and ice cream. My favourite dessert!
If you’re near there in late July, you can also enjoy the Festa del Gelato! As usual, Italy has a festival for everything!