Antica Delizia is a small family run gelato company located in the town of Castellina in Chianti.
After a few wrong turns, (to put it mildly) we were greeted by Chiara and her husband Simone. They recently expanded and moved their shop to new quarters a few blocks away from their original store in the centre of town.
After a brief tour, we were welcomed into the laboratory where we got a first-hand look (and taste!) of the gelato making process. All the ingredients used at Antica Delizia are natural, very different from ice cream, which is usually a chemical based product.
We chose our demonstration flavour to be pistachio and watched as Simone added the pureed essence into the blending machine that already had been combined with milk and sugar. When you see a pistachio gelato that is light green in colour, run away fast! True pistachio is brownish-green, more of an olive color. Not a terribly appealing colour but it is natural.
I wish I could remember all the different machines; some that blended, some that cooled and others that froze. In the end, our gelato was extracted in a swirly wave.
Our sample was delicious with the creamy consistency and the taste of concentrated pistachio; delicate and strong at the same time.
After we saw the process from beginning to end, Simone and Chiara introduced us to a game.
We were given a sample of gelato on a spoon and had to identify the flavours.
These were just a few of the combinations we had to decipher. Usually
we got it right, but even when we were wrong, it was a delightful game where everyone was a winner.
We were invited to sample yet another flavour before we left and a few of us were able to not disappoint.
A stroll through the town of Castellina allowed us to work off just a bit of our gelato before lunch in one of the many trattorias and pizzerias that line the town’s centre, the Piazza Communale.
On the way back, we stopped in the hilltop town of Montfiorelle, high above Greve.
It was a bit harrowing when we turned onto a narrow cobbled road that clearly was not meant for cars, let alone vans! But our trusty driver Daniel got us through and gained a new standing among the group. Another great day in the Chianti countryside!