Monday, December 6, 2010

Best of the City 2010

Last week Madisono's Gelato was invited to participate in the Best of The City party held at the Cintas Center. There were more than 450 people enjoying the best that Cincinnati has to offer from fine foods, Lego Toys, and much more. I had a great time serving Dark Chocolate Orange Gelato, Hazelnut Gelato, Butternut Squash with Sage and Date Gelato, Alphonso Mango Sorbet, Candy Cane Gelato and Caramello with Sea Salt Gelato. I had a chance to talk with everyone that stopped by to sample our handcrafted gelato and sorbet. One question that kept coming up was this. "What is the difference between your gelato and the other gelato around town?" The "What is the difference between ice cream and gelato?" question still comes up but not as often. Many of you who read this blog know that I have talked about what makes Madisono's unique and quite often I continue to reinforce the fact that Madisono's makes all of our own bases from scratch. This is a key point that is the foundation of why Madisono's is a true artisan gelato. Did you know that we make 5 different gelato bases? We make a neutral base which is used in fruit and nut flavors, a milk chocolate base, a dark chocolate base, a cinnamon base, and an eggnog base. All of our sorbet bases are also made specifically for each sorbet flavor. We are the only producer of gelato and sorbet that is a licensed milk processor registered and inspected by the Ohio Department of Agriculture in Cincinnati.
We have a HACCP plan, and because we make all of our own base we must conduct legal pasteurization according to the PMO (pasteurization milk ordinance). This allows us many advantages over gelato that is made from who knows what. First, Madisono's is in control of the small batch process from the very beginning and in charge of the chemistry. This begins with sourcing our ingredients. Secondly we use NO PRESERVATIVES! If other gelato producers are not making their own base that that means they are buying something from someone else and that means the use of preservatives and chemical additives that don't need to be there. Some examples of this would be calcium sulphate (also found in drywall) and mono diglycerides of fatty acids (cheap substitutes for egg yolks) Why not just use real egg? There are many more ingredients found in commercial ice cream mixes that are there as preservatives and most vanilla ice cream bases come with vanillin. Vanillin is a banned food ingredient by Whole Foods Markets. Thirdly, we can age our base. When we pasteurize our bases we allow them to age before use. Some gelato companies try to sell mechanical aging devices that shorten the time required to get a good base but that again is selling the process short. A good baker would never rush the proof. Why rush the base?
There are many cottage food producers and most focus on creating a product that is uniquely their own. Some have grown into household names like Amy's or LaBrea. A food artist creates something from scratch, or uses an old recipe, a food producer just produces. For some of you Madisono's is already a household name and for that I thank you.
The picture above is my dark chocolate base in the vat pasteurizer. The white is the fresh cream swirling around the agitator. That base is cooked for about 90 minutes which allows all of the solid chocolate to mix while undergoing legal pasteurization.
Thanks for supporting Madisono's

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