March 4, 2009

Talenti Gelato and Sorbetto and Blacksmiths' Roughshod Blueberry Brandy - a great combo

Last week, I posted about a delicious dessert wine I purchased while visiting the great state of Maine. The wine is called Roughshod and is a product of Blacksmiths Winery. I had mentioned that I would be combining Roughshod with some vanilla ice cream, and did just that. The ice cream of choice was actually gelato from Talenti Gelato e Sorbetto.

I wanted to keep the flavor simple as to not overpower the blueberry brandy taste of the Roughod, so I chose Talenti's Tahitian Vanilla Bean (interesting side note: these vanilla beans are imported from Papua New Guinea). Talenti achieves this flavor by taking whole Tahitian vanilla beans, splitting them and scraping them by hand to create this paraticular gelato. The flavor is nothing like I've ever tasted before and paired nicely with the Roughshod. The vanilla flavoring of the gelato erased the cough syrup-like initial taste once experiences while drinking Roughshod straight.

I highly suggest you indulge your taste buds and buy some Roughshod (which you can do here) and pour it over some Talenti vanilla gelato. You can buy Talenti at any Whole Foods grocer, but you can also purchase online by visiting here. So plan ahead and enjoy this delicious treat in no time!

For a bit of background on Dallas-based Talenti, I found this interesting article about the company in Entrepreneur Magazine. The company claims its inspiration was found in Bernardo Buontalenti, also known as "Talenti." Talenti was a famed Florentine artist and architect who also happened to be a foodie. Talenti is credited with first introducing court of the Duchess Catherine de Medici's in the early 1500s to a concoction he called "gelato."

However, Wikipedia offers a more colorful history when it comes to the origin of the frozen treat:
"The History of Gelato dates back to the 16th century. There is some confusion in the origin as to where or who really invented gelato. As most stories go, it is credited to Bernardo Buontalenti, a native of Florence, who delighted the court of Caterina dei Medici with his creation. Italians are certainly credited with introducing gelato to the rest of Europe; with Sicilian born Francesco Procopio dei Coltelli who undoubtedly was one of the most influential individuals in the history of gelato, as one of the first to sell it to the public. Summoned to Paris in 1686, he opened a café named after himself called “Café Procope”, which quickly became one of the most celebrated haunts of the literary establishment in France. In Italy meanwhile, the art of traditional gelato making was passed on from father to son, improved and perfected right up to the 20th century, when many gelato makers began to emigrate, taking their know-how to the rest of Europe."

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