The Story of Our New House-Made Gelato
A lot of us cherish vivid memories of gelato, memories that are indelibly linked to places where you tasted it. The bright colors and fresh, mouth-watering flavors of gelato make it nearly impossible to separate the taste of creamy green pistachio from a particular piazza in Positano, or the vibrant, yellow zing of lemon from a specific cart on Capri. It's easy to assume that the reason gelato tastes better in loco than at home is because of the setting. But the fact is, some gelati are made differently— and that can make all the difference. In basic terms, all gelato differs from ice cream in the percentage of cream to milk used, resulting in a lower butterfat content. But most gelato also contains more flavoring ingredients and sugar than ice cream. Gelato is churned more slowly than ice cream, incorporating less air, and the extra sugar inhibits the formation of crystals. With less fat coating the tongue, and less air diluting the taste, that ingredient-loaded gelato fairly bursts with flavor when you taste it. And, despite the fact that the name literally means "frozen" in Italian, gelati are traditionally served just above the freezing temperature.
One day Seabourn chefs Franck Salein and Kurt Timmermans were chatting with culinary consultant Chef Anton Egger about the gelato served aboard Seabourn's ships, and the discussion grew impassioned as they each recalled various gelati they had tasted in Italy. Eventually, as chefs will, they became obsessed with the idea of serving authentic artisanal gelato on board to match the best available in Italy. Initial research led the trio to the Gelato University founded in Bologna, Italy, by Carpigiani, the world's leading manufacturer of machines for making gelato. After weeks of extensive research at the university, learning about the history and technical aspects of gelato production, the chefs further explored traditional recipes for gelato base and various flavoring ingredients and formulas with top-rated gelatieri all over Italy.
Thanks to their passion and diligence (tasting all those gelati must have been tough!), Seabourn began introducing a new line of authentic artisanal gelati produced daily on board Seabourn Encore in April. The gelati will appear on Seabourn Ovation in May, and eventually will be served in all venues across the entire fleet. One of the keys to quality is the installation of superior gelato machines manufactured by Carpigiani in Bologna.
A range of classic flavors will be regularly produced, including Bologna's distinctive, dark amarena cherry, amaretto, dulce de leche, stracciatella, Sicilian pistachio, extra-virgin olive oil, bourbon vanilla and cappuccino. Fruit-based gelato flavors offered will include blood orange, coconut, kumquat, mulberry, wild berry, rhubarb, yuzu, black currant and black cherry. To guarantee the gelato menu reflects the ships' destinations, a daily special will be offered whenever the ship calls in a port where the chefs can procure seasonal or unique local ingredients, such as the juicy lemons grown along the Amalfi coast. A variety of different gelati will also be produced without added sugar.
Gerald Mösslinger, vice president, hotel operations for Seabourn, is determined that Seabourn's new homemade gelato will be the finest product of its type at sea today, with a goal to deliver gelati that are truly authentic in both taste and texture.
"So many of our guests enjoy the smooth, silky texture of gelato and the rich flavor that comes forward as you taste it, carrying you right to the quaint streets of Italy," he says. "Our new house-made gelati are sure to become a favorite treat for our guests while they are on board, and one that will evoke sweet memories of their cruises long after their travels are complete."
We hope you look forward to indulging in our new gelati on your next ultra-luxury Seabourn cruise. For more information about all our gourmet dining experiences, call Seabourn