As we meddle through spring, with summer fast approaching, we ask ourselves: “Is there any better way to satisfy our taste buds than with a cold, confectionary treat?”
Although we all tend to become increasingly more aware of our figures during this time of year, we can’t help but associate warmer weather with frozen desserts that help cool us down. But with so many options — traditional ice cream, the seemingly ubiquitous frozen yogurt, slush, and gelato — which does one choose? It seems, yet again, that all we must do is turn to our Italian neighbors across the ocean blue for culinary advice.
No matter what region of Italy you roam, throughout the summer months un cono di gelato can be spotted in the hands of just about everyone. From small bambini running freely in the piazza, to the business elite in the bustling city centers, everyone enjoys the virtually sacred gelato. It is yet another rudimentary element of the Italian life! But here in the United States, it can be quite difficult to find a gelateria that provides the same quality product that one can find so effortlessly in Italy. Tani and Anna Bleta, however, bring this sugary treat, in its full authenticity, to the North Shore at their new gelateria, The New Art of Gelato, located in Peabody, Massachusetts.
Making gelato artigianale is an art form, and it’s no wonder that we have seen such perfection from the Bleta duo, who have extensive backgrounds in Italian cuisine. Tani, who started his culinary journey in the kitchen of the Club Hotel Alpino in Trentino, Italy, and Anna, who served as both a pasta chef and later a sous chef at an internationally acclaimed gelateria in the Italian Alps, emigrated from Italy with aspirations of bringing quality Italian fare to the United States. In 2009, the pair opened their first highly esteemed Italian eatery in downtown Danvers, I Pazzi, which still maintains incredible success, and is ever-growing.
In September 2014, the Bletas decided to embark on a new adventure, bringing gelato of the highest caliber to the United States. In an effort to create a superior product, the couple was the first in the country to import the newest model of the Carpigiani frozen dessert machine, which was only made available in Italy in 2012. With the help of the new high-tech Maestro Carpigiano model, the Bletas are able to perfectly control the temperature and consistency of their creations with its 97 settings, optimizing the flavors within each gelato recipe.
But one shouldn’t expect to find mountains of brightly but artificially flavored gelati in this shop, as appealing as it may look to untrained eyes. Here, all gelati are true to the colors of the natural products they contain. As Tani Bleta states himself: “This is about harnessing nature. Don’t kill a dessert with industry. Why not use natural fruits and seasonings? The ingredients exist in nature for a reason. Use them.”
Walnut, cookie, hazelnut, blackberry, and the traditional stracciatella are only a few of the many gusti, or flavors, offered at The New Art of Gelato, each bringing its own unique and sweet pleasure to your palate. The walnut, which offers a mild, but distinct flavor, is especially delicious when paired with hazelnut or a chocolate-based gelato. The blackberry, on the other hand, with tiny bits of fruit visible, yields the perfect balance of sweet and tart, ideal for any summer evening. And the cookie flavored gelato, which has an uncanny likeness to a freshly baked cookie from your own oven, certainly will not disappoint. And with a significantly lower fat content than its cousin, ice cream, what is there not to love about gelato?
The New Art of Gelato boasts a large selection of gluten-free, sugar-free, vegan, and kosher treats, so that everyone in your friendship circle can enjoy something delectable! From gelati, to sorbetti, gelato puffs, gelato cakes, and sweet crepes, not a single customer will leave dissatisfied! Make The New Art of Gelato your summer stop when your appetite calls for something sweet and cool!