Aug 21

Spumoni Day

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Spumoni Gelato
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"Chocolate chip and everything that's nice;
Tutti-frutti once and spumoni twice!"

~ Louis Prima, "Banana Split for My Baby", 1951

Spumoni - Chocolate, Cherry, and Pistachio gelato! Are you a fan? Or have you been traumatized in childhood by versions with little bits of candied fruits or nuts? Gelato is ice cream's creamier, smoother and silkier, Italian cousin. First popularized in Naples, it is now popular in places with large Italian immigrant populations, such as the U.S. and Argentina. While both gelato and ice cream contain cream, milk and sugar, authentic gelato uses more milk, less cream and generally doesn’t use a custard base from egg yolks, common in ice creams. Italian gelato is also served warmer than traditional ice creams so that your mouth is better able to taste the flavours, enhanced by the lower overall butterfat content. Traditional Spumone (from the word spuma for "foam"), plural spumoni, is a molded gelato, sliced rather than scooped, and a staple dessert in Italian culture after a dinner of ravioli and braciole. Mangia! 🍨 🇮🇹

For today, Ice Cream Day, we have the Gelato tartan.  Gelato is the Italian word for ice cream,  generally lower in fat, but higher in sugar, than other styles of ice cream. Gelato typically contains less air and more flavoring than other kinds of frozen desserts, giving it a density and richness that distinguishes it from other ice creams. 

The history of gelato is rife with myths and very little evidence to substantiate them. Some say it dates back to frozen desserts in Sicilyancient Rome and Egypt made from snow and ice brought down from mountain tops and preserved below ground. Later, in 1686 the Sicilian fisherman Francesco Procopio dei Coltelli perfected the first ice cream machine.   However, the popularity of gelato among larger shares of the population only increased in the 1920s–1930s in the northern Italian city of Varese, where the first gelato cart was developed. 

This tartan, by designer Carol A.L. Martin, includes the colors of a classic Italian ice cream flavor, Spumoni.

Spumone (from spuma or "foam"), plural spumoni, is a molded Italian gelato-style ice cream made with layers of different colors and flavors, usually containing candied fruits and nuts. Spumone was created in a pasticceria owned by the Lo Monaco family in Sicily.

Typically, it is of three flavors, with a fruit/nut layer between them. The ice cream layers are often mixed with whipped cream. Cherry, pistachio, and either chocolate or vanilla are the typical flavors of the ice cream layers, and the fruit/nut layer often contains cherry bits—causing the traditional red/pink, green, and brown color combination.


It is popular in places with large Italian immigrant populations such as the United States and Argentina.  In fact, August 21 is National Spumoni Day in the United States, and November 13 is National Spumoni Day in Canada.


Spumoni is the staple dessert in Italian culture after a dinner of ravioli.

To make your own spumoni ice cream terrine, click the spoon of ice cream for a recipe.

Officially registered tartan graphics on this site courtesy of The Scottish Tartans Authority.  Other tartans from talented tartan artists may also be featured.

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