Stracciatella – flavour of Bergamo
Four gates open on the medieval walls that surround the old town. Near one of them, Porta Sant’Alessandro, there is a bar known to every bergamasco and even to many tourists: La Marianna. What is it famous for? Even if you haven’t heard the name of the place, you’ve probably seen the word stracciatella by studying the offerings of Italian ice cream shops. Well, this flavour was invented right here in 1961 by Enrico Panattoni.
The name was originally used for a famous Roman soup and is still used today. It’s essentially a delicious broth with lots and lots of parmesan and eggs added to it, and these “shreds” create quite an interesting effect. A similar sight presented itself to the confectioner Master Panattoni, when he put warm dark chocolate into the ice cream machine alongside the creamy ice cream base (fiordilatte), from which chocolate shards formed as the whisks worked to solidify the chocolate. The appearance of the ice cream reminded the master of this soup, which is why he called it stracciatella.
Panattoni anxiously guarded the recipe for the new flavour, so those who want to try the original stracciatella have been visiting La Marianna for sixty years. Stracciatella is still made by traditional ice cream makers in a vertical ice cream machine (like the famous Carpigiani L40). Over time, of course, the flavour has become so widespread and popular that you can try it not only in any gelateria in Bergamo, but basically anywhere in Italy.
As mentioned earlier, stracciatella was officially certified in 2017 and has since been patented as “La Stracciatella il gelato di Bergamo”. The primary goal is to bring together the ice cream parlors that deserve this brand, i.e. make the stracciatella according to tradition. The specifications also include a description of the main ingredients (a mixture of fresh milk and cream, dark chocolate with a minimum cocoa content of 58%) and the manufacturing process, which must be strictly followed.
In Bergamo in 2018, a ceremony in honor of stracciatella took place in the heart of the historic center, where participants could admire the production of 300 kilos of stracciatella in a spectacular outdoor workshop. Of course, in addition to the ice-cream history program, participants could also enjoy a free tasting.
So it’s really time to try stracciatella on your next visit to Bergamo. Here you can see some of the most popular gelaterias in the city (including La Marianna) – choose the one you like and enjoy the taste!