Whilst on vacation in Calabria, we didn’t want to miss the opportunity to take a trip to the town of Pizzo. It’s a lovely seaside town, with a 15th century castle overlooking the ocean.
A ghostly looking wire sculpture also sits there, permanently enjoying the view.
Slightly away from the rolling waves, the old town seems to be almost the stereotype of European cafe culture, replete with narrow streets and a town square.
But what most sets Pizzo apart from other delightful towns, and probably the reason it particularly attracts us tourists, is its famous Tartufo de Pizzo. Described in various places, including by our tour guide, as “the greatest ice cream in the world” it is pretty special, and the town has upwards of 20 gelaterias serving it.
It’s essentially a ball of icecream, traditionally chocolate and hazelnut, although there were plenty of other variations on hand, dusted in chocolate powder. This surrounds a delicious melted chocolate centre. Each creator apparently has their own special and top secret recipe for how to make that delectable middle, and they’re made in a way that’s quite impossible to reproduce the splendour of in for instance a mass supermarket bought product.
The origin story is that a famous ice-cream seller - I’ve seen different names given to him in different places so will treat him as anonymous here - needed to make a bunch of desserts for an important event full of VIPs. But, oh no, he ran out of moulds to shape them. Desperate not to let them down he just used his hands to create a rough sphere of ice-cream around some melted chocolate, and dusted them in sugar and chocolate. And thus the phenomena was born.
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