Cookbook Review: The Art of Making Gelato by Morgan Morano

Note: I received a digital advance reader copy of this book from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

Some of my fondest memories I have of my family's trip to Italy as a teenager revolved around the sumptuous gelato I ate there. Even the most average gelateria in Italy seemed to serve something far beyond what American gelato stores were producing. Pistachio was my flavor of choice, and I must've had pistachio gelato at least 6 times during that one trip.

Morgan Morano knows that feeling well, which is why she opened Morano Gelato, in Hanover, NH. In her introduction, she tells her story of how she came to be a gelato master and why she is dedicated to upholding the authenticity of Italian gelato in America. In a weird twist of fate, I happened to have sampled her gelato only a few months ago when I went on an interview at Dartmouth and remember thinking that this was probably the most authentic gelato I've had in the US. Suffice to say, it was a nice surprise when I opened this ARC and heard about Morano Gelato again.

But on to the actual cookbook: it's a beauty, with colorful but realistic photography and recipes that reflect all the choices you'd find in an Italian gelateria. There's your basic flavors like fior di latte, dark chocolate, and stracciatella, and there are more obscure Italian classics like olive oil gelato and cassata gelato. There's a section on nut flavors with my beloved pistachio, and there's even a section on sorbettos for the lactose-intolerant. Lest you think this book is too Italian, there are also recipes for apple pie gelato and doughnut gelato, creative spins on American classics. In total, there are a little under 60 recipes, which I thought was just enough for a beginner gelato cookbook.

I loved that Morano emphasizes using fresh, local ingredients whenever possible, and reveals where she likes to source her premium ingredients. She also walks you through every step of basic gelato-making, with clear instructions and pictures of each step, which for the uninitiated helps make the process much less intimidating. Another bonus--at the end of each recipe, she offers suggestions for how she likes to serve it, such as topped with fruit, blended into a frappe, or paired with another gelato flavor. I enjoyed the breakdown in the recipes between prep, cooking, freezing, and serving. Everything was very precise and organized, down to the metric weights helpfully listed for each recipe.

If I had one complaint, it's that certain ingredients can be hard to find, such as tapioca starch or yogurt powder. If you have a specialty grocery store or Amazon Prime, I have a feeling it will become your best friend, since most recipes have one or two ingredients not common to a typical American pantry. However, this is a minor flaw in what is otherwise a wonderful cookbook from someone who is clearly experienced and passionate about their craft. While I don't yet have an ice cream/gelato machine, I cannot wait for the day when I get one so I can test some of these recipes myself.

Overall Rating: 5/5 stars

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