Tartufo – icecream made in Calabria

Calabria is the southern part of Italy with the capital in Catanzaro, bordering the region of Basilicata, and through the Strait of Messina with Sicily. “The end of the shoe” also called “terra incognita” is an agricultural region – the greater part of the population works in services, trade, transport or tourism. Residents are struggling with corruption, the activities of mafia organizations, illegal emigration from Africa, but also a large outflow of people to the richer parts of the country. Calabria is beautiful. As in any Italian region, it’s worth tasting local culinary specialties here. I was attracted to the Tartufo – an ice dessert from Pizzo – small town of Calabria. This dessert is hand-formed nutty-chocolate ice cream with liquid chocolate inside (original, others are often modified). Tartufo was created … by accident: in the early 1950s, one of the confectioners, Don Pippo, who was serving an important and large wedding reception one time, realized that there were no ice cream cake makers. So he formed a ball of ice cream on his hand, which he filled with liquid chocolate, then wrapped it in waterproof paper and put it in the freezer. It didn’t take long and the guests could admire the unusual ice cream with a “surprise” inside: the chocolate has retained its liquid consistency! Don Pippo was very successful and soon his successors appeared in Pizzo. So real tartufo are formed by hand and if you want to see how they taste, do not buy those ready. When you’re in Italy, look for the cafes that offer Tartufo di Pizzo. I ate my own in Tropea. I chose pistacchio … I won’t forget this taste – never! And below the recipe:


– pistachio ice cream ball, dissolved, dark chocolate, pistachio crumble


Hard-frozen ice-cream balls cut into halves. Make a hole in them with a teaspoon and pour chocolate into it, then quickly close the ball. Sprinkle the whole with pistacchio crumble and pour still dissolved chocolate.

It tastes great with espresso!