Only one week of Broadway Bites remains (until October, at least), which begs the very important question: Have you had your gelato–and Korean tacos and mushroom dumplings and Turkish pastries and beer floats–today?
As the market winds down, we wanted to give a special shout to one of the vendors who always puts a smile on our faces, not just because his gelato is so darn good. Luca Meacci is the passionate Italian expat behind the stateside branch of Gelato Ti Amo, which launched in Cortona, Italy, in 2010. Meacci tried the gelato on a visit to his home region of Arezzo in 2011, met with the founders the very next day, and the rest is (sweet) history.
We love Meacci’s gelato for its purity of flavor and its obsessive devotion to top-notch ingredients. Read on to learn more, and get thee to Broadway Bites to taste for yourself!
UrbanSpace: What inspired you to bring Gelato Ti Amo stateside?
Luca Meacci: I have been living in New York for ten years now, and I was missing the taste of gelato that I grew up with! I am from Arezzo and I always go back in September. During the summer of 2011 I went to Cortona and tried some gelato. I immediately fell in love with the gelato and with Gelato Ti Amo. The next day I met with one of the founders about the possibility of bringing Gelato Ti Amo to New York City. I am someone that eats gelato all year round and I thought that it could be great for me to recreate that in the greatest city in the world.
US: For those who don’t know, can you explain the difference between gelato and ice cream?
LM: Yes. It’s very easy for me to answer that. The first difference is that gelato has less fat then ice cream. The churning speed is different. Ice cream is churned faster and harder than gelato to incorporate air into the mixture. Gelato is churned at a slower speed, which means not as much air is whipped into the mixture keeping it dense. Another difference is that Ice cream is heavy on the cream. In order to be legally labeled it is required to have at least 10 percent fat content . We don’t use any cream, we only use organic certified USDA approved Milk. And our fat content is only 4 percent.
US: Again, for those who don’t know: will you explain what sets your gelato apart from the rest?
LM: We get our milk and mascarpone from Mukki Latte, a milk company from Tuscany in business since 1954 and a USDA approved organic certified company, which is a synonym of quality. Just to give you an idea of how quality is important to us, we choose our products very carefully. Our raspberry, strawberries and figs come from Arezzo (Tuscany), lemons come from Sorrento (Naples), hazelnuts from Langhe (Barolo area, Piedmont), pistachios from Bronte (Sicily), chocolate, coconut and mango from the Caribbeans. If you go to one of our locations in Italy you will find exactly the same taste.
US: I know choosing one favorite flavor would likely be impossible, so how about choosing a favorite flavor for each season — spring, summer, winter and fall?
LM: Spring: strawberry sorbet
Summer: pistachio gelato
Winter: hazelnut gelato
Fall: mascarpone and figs gelato