Friday, February 24, 2012

Madisono's Gelato at Arnold's Pub and Grill

Arnold's is one of those Cincinnati gems...a friendly bar that has served up excellent beer, great food and music since the 1860s. That is a long history of success in our fair city and when you walk in, you get a sense of that historical charm. The beautiful wooden bar, imperfectly plastered walls, wooden floors worn smooth from all the patrons walking in to relax after a long day's work. The courtyard always feels to me like you've found a secret little resting spot holding fast between the towering city buildings around it. The simple patio tables and brick walls gather around a humble stage for intimate musical performances. So charming! There is a great story about the bathtub in the upstairs dining rooms, read about it here.

Next time you go, you can enjoy some of Madisono's Gelato with your Greek spaghetti lunch. They offer our Mocha Chip, Hazelnut, Vanilla and Dark Chocolate Orange gelato in our prepacked 6 ounce cups.

Arnold's is located at 210 East Eighth Street, in downtown Cincinnati.

Thursday, February 23, 2012

Sorbet Science: Building a delicious gelato one brix at a time

Making Madisono's gelato and sorbet taste delicious is much more than following a secret recipe here at Madisono's. Of course, we have secret recipes but it's not like one of those little cards your mom gave you from her cookbook. It's pretty scientific. When we are working with our natural ingredients, such as fresh or frozen fruit, we have to keep on our toes since dear mother nature refuses to make each mango, lemon, strawberry or raspberry taste exactly the same. We love that unpredictable woman but it does create a bit of a challenge when our customers expect the same flavor they love each time they buy a pint!

How do we keep the perfect balance of sweet tart you've come to love about our pink grapefruit sorbet or our dark chocolate orange gelato? Science, baby. And thank goodness owner and flavor chieftain Matt Madison loves his chemistry as much as he loves his gelato!

One of the scientific tools used in our manufacturing plant is a hydrometer. It measures the amount of suspended sugars in a solution. This measurement is called a "brix" reading, written as a number followed by "°Bx". For instance, in a drop of a fruit's juice, there might be 200 milligrams of solids and 800 milligrams of water. The juice then has a 20 °Bx concentration. Maple syrup is about 66 °Bx and a chardonnay might read at about 16 °Bx.

At Madisono's we always measure the brix in the fruit juices or purées we use in our recipes so that we know how much sugar (or simple syrup) to add to each batch being produced. This ensures that each pint is as delicious as the last!

Friday, February 17, 2012

Find Madisono's Gelato and Sorbet at Carl's Deli

Ah, Carl's Deli. It's the quintessential neighborhood deli you'd think only existed in cool neighborhoods on the east coast. Luckily, it's located in Hyde Park, just a bit away from the busy business district. We've known many of our Hyde Park friends to wander into Carl's for a delicious sandwich at lunch or a pint of delicious Madisono's Gelato out of their freezer.

Ann McManus, owner of Carl's, has supported and carried our products since the beginning in 2007. 12 flavors are stocked in their freezers, including our newest seasonal flavors: Gianduja (chocolate and hazelnut), Baklava and Meyer Lemon sorbet. Carl's Deli is located at 2836 Observatory Ave., Cincinnati, Ohio. Stop by for lunch this week!

Thursday, February 16, 2012

Trade Secret: Nielsen Massey Vanilla

While our recipes are top secret, some ingredients are so good that we're happy to share with you why we include them in Madisono's gelato and sorbet.

One of the reasons our Madagascar Vanilla Gelato tastes so good is because we use whole vanilla beans from the pure vanilla experts, the Nielsen Massey Extracts company.

The Nielsen Massey family has been delivering and producing the finest quality vanilla since 1907. Still family owned and operated in Waukegan, IL, they have locations around the world to distribute and acquire their coveted flavors.

We use the whole vanilla pod in the creation of the vanilla base because it ensures the vanilla flavor as it was meant to be delivered. Rich and mellow, sweet and smooth...delicious!

Here are some fun facts we learned about vanilla from the website:

• In baking, cream the vanilla with the shortening or butter portion of the ingredients. The fat encapsulates the vanilla, preventing it from volatilizing in the baking process.

• Vanilla beans are hand-pollinated on family plantations.

• The entire vanilla cultivation process, from planting to market, can take from 5 to 6 years!

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Sweet Hearts Fundraiser at The Hills Market in Columbus

Madisono's Gelato and Sorbet was proud to participate in the "Sweet Hearts" fundraiser at The Hills Market in Columbus, Ohio on February 4th. The "Mended Little Hearts" organization helps mentor families that have children who are newly diagnosed with congenital heart disease, help support them during the entire journey and help fund more research and education.

Madisono's was one of many local vendors (including Snowville Creamery) who offered delicious desserts and treats throughout the evening. Our lemon basil sorbet was paired with a drink of proseco and lavender elixer. Sounds exotic, doesn't it? The sweet fruit of lemon was complemented by the herbal basil and lavender flavors to make quite a delicious combination!

The Hills Market carries Madisono's Gelato and Sorbet year round.

We also enjoyed some great music by the "Salty Caramels" band.

Friday, February 3, 2012

Madisono's Gelato at Pompilios Italian Restaurant in Newport

Yesterday, we suffered the loss of an entire pork loin, which had gone bad in our refrigerator. Not overly dismayed, I thought it was a perfect reason to go out to dinner with the family. Whenever we eat out, we make it a point to patronize a restaurant that carries Madisono's Gelato and sorbet. My wife and I hadn't eaten at Pompilio's Italian Restaurant since before we were married and living in Newport (before it was cool) so the visit was long overdue.
Soda is served in bottles which thrilled our son.
Comfortable and casual with the old-school Italian eatery decor.

We were charmed by the entire experience and can't wait to get back again! The decor is old-school Italian eatery with tables covered in red and white checkered linens under white butcher paper. The walls are tastefully faux painted with the look of chipping old plaster the color of amber and brick "revealed" underneath. Since Pompilio's is in Kentucky, we were greeted with the old "smoking or non-smoking" question. That right there is a throwback for Ohioans, isn't it? The smoking section and bar is on the right where the wonderful old black and white tiled floors are. You might remember those floors from the movie Rain Man when Charlie Babbitt drops the toothpicks on the floor and does his autistic savant counting for Tom Cruise's character. Bring back memories?

We were greeted warmly by the owner who chatted with us a few minutes before getting back into the very busy workflow. The service was exceptional and not in the hoity-toity kind of exceptional way. Our server was a young guy with arms covered in tattoos bearing his children's names and he expertly assisted us and our kids through the ordering process. He was very attentive without hovering  which is the best kind of service in my opinion, and kept our special requests sorted with ease. We loved all the food, especially the fried calamari (which both repulsed and mesmerized our kids--two were even brave enough to try it), caprese panini and my wife and daughter claimed the onion rings the best they'd ever had. My wife has evaluated onion rings from many, many restaurants so this is a sound recommendation.

And the Madisono's Gelato? Pompilio's serves 2 custom flavors that you won't find anywhere else: Spumoni (pistachio, chocolate and vanilla), Blueberry and Double Chocolate. Make sure you save room for dessert since you can't them anywhere else! Pompilio's has been serving delicious Italian food for over 79 years and is located on East 6th Street in Newport, Kentucky. It also has a great outside dining area with Bocce Club tournaments in the summer.