Grappa and ricotta prove winning combination at Sicilian gelato festival

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Grappa and ricotta prove winning combination at Sicilian gelato festival
More traditional gelato flavours at an ice cream shop in Rome. Photo: Alberto Pizzoli/AFP

The 10th annual Sherbeth Festival, an ice cream festival in Palermo that recognizes the best of global gelato-making, has awarded first prize this year to Italian Fabio Solighetto from the northern province of Monza near Milan, for his ricotta and grappa gelato.


Culinary artisans travelled from 50 territories across the globe, including Japan and Mexico, to compete at this year’s festival, which took place over a four-day period between September 27 and September 30 and attracted half a million visitors who were served more than 20,000 kilos of ice cream.

The competition was judged by food technologist Franco Bray, food writer Luca Iaccarino, and gelatiere Gianfrancesco Cutelli, as well as last year’s winners Taizo Shibano and Satoshi Takada from Japan, reports Il Denaro.


L'arrivo dei nostri maestri gelatieri!

A post shared by Sherbeth Festival (@sherbethfestival) on Sep 26, 2018 at 11:52am PDT

Solighetto, who owns the gelateria L’albero dei Gelati (“The Ice Cream Tree”) in the town of Seregno, told reporters he used ricotta di bufala, white Penja pepper, and capovilla prunus aurum grappa that had been aged for 15 years to concoct his winning entry.

“For the competition I thought of a taste that best represented the concept of territory and craftsmanship, but I wanted the real thing, which is the fruit of long periods of waiting,” he said upon receiving first prize.

“With my flavours I wanted to emphasize the perfection of raw materials,” he added.

In addition to receiving the trophy, Solighetto was also awarded prize money of €1,000 from event sponsor the Bravo Company.

Second prize went to Laura Mesa Franco, who came all the way from Santa Cruz de la Sierra in Bolivia, for her hazelnut-based Dulce Arequipe gelato.

Sicilian Rosario Leone D'Angelo from Messina came in third place with a chocolate-flavoured entry using cocoa from the Ivory Coast.


A post shared by Ksenia, guide in Sicily (@enjoy_sicily) on Sep 27, 2018 at 11:51am PDT

Sherbeth Festival organisers Davide Alamia and Piergiorgio Martorana thanked participants, saying, “Today we can say that Sherbeth has become the biggest and most important ice cream event in the world, and this makes us proud and encourages us to do even better.”

“Now let's think now about the next ten years of the festival.”

So ice cream aficionados who missed this year’s festival can console themselves – it will be back same time, same place, next September.




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