Waiting for Sherbeth in Catania: the 10 commandments of ice cream

While waiting for Sherbeth in Catania, from 26 to 29 September, we asked Antonio Cappadonia and Giovanna Musumeci the ten dogmas of Sicilian ice cream.

The principles that animate the mission of two Sicilian ice cream makers, of the master Antonio Cappadonia , and of a representative of the new generation, Giovanna Musumeci, should be engraved on the tables .a creed that focuses on the identity of the territory and the value of the craftsman Ten dogmas on the art of Sicilian ice cream aimed at the ice cream makers of today and tomorrow, especially now that we are waiting for Sherbeth, in Catania from 26 to 29 September . They are the truth of a creed that focuses on the identity of the territory, the value of the craftsman and the consumer. From comfort food, the refreshing pastime that has always been loved by adults and children, ice cream has risen to another level where the question of the philosophy of production, which includes research, support for small local production companies, and the biodiversity that identifies a place , due to its history and traditions, has become the discriminating factor. In recent years, the need has matured to put a dividing line in a rather nebulous world that screams the slogan artisan gelato.

The origins: the snow sorbet

In Sicily, the issue of quality ice cream is rather endemic. During the Arab era the culture of sherbeth developed , the ancient sorbet made with the snow of the neviere and flavored with orange juice, mandarins and lemons and flowers ,originally it was the sorbet made with snow and fruit juicewhich inspired the Sicilian festival that brings together ice cream makers from all over the world every year in Sicily and of which Cappadonia is the technical director and Musumeci the co-director. Federico II had perfected the officinal ice cream with lemon, nepetella and jasmine essential oils, a type on which the ice cream maker Maurizio Valguarnera of Palermo is currently researching with the support of Agri-food Sciences and Technologies of the University of Palermo. Francesco Procopio de Coltelli , Sicilian cook and ice cream maker, probably born in Palermo, refined his art in Aci Trezza with the snow of Etna and then exported it to Paris by founding Le Procope in 1686. After the Second World War, the Swiss Luca Caviezel started the first Sicilian school of ice cream and pastry that will remain a milestone in the history of the city, one of the leading exponents of the art of artisan ice cream called throughout Europe to hold lessons and meetings.

Sicilian ice cream according to Cappadonia and Musumeci

“ Making ice cream is a vocation. It belongs to our roots – comments Antonio Cappadonia who has his production center in Cerda and in Palermo two stations of taste , as he calls the two stores in the center -. It means following an ethics, studying, practicing and researching constantly, because in tradition there is knowledge, in innovation there is development. And it means being well rooted in one’s own territory, drawing on the wealth of products and knowledge, being proud first of all of one’s own identity “. Firm words of an ice cream maker born of a peasant family, raised in the midst of lemon trees and never separated from them, a source of inspiration and experimentation. The raw materialremains the pivot of this profession that for the teacher must absolutely be calibrated on slow times. “ We are not detached from Nature, Man is its complement. Only if we are aware of this can we truly produce quality. The same taste of ice cream will always vary, because the pastures change, the flavor of the fruit changes even during the span of its season “.

Foundation of a practical thought cultivated on the other side of the island by Giovanna Musumeci , a graduate in Economics and Commerce specializing in marketing. In artisanal ice cream, as the volcanic and solar ice cream maker professes, there must be no trick and there must be no deception .the consumer must be educated and the ice cream must not deceive“ Meanwhile, ice cream is a direct expression of those who make it, of their philosophy. Just like any work of art – Musumeci underlines -. Mirror of the mood of the ice cream maker. It is a material that emanates life, the life of man and of the territory in which he lives. I cannot choose any other ingredient than the cherry which is a twenty minute drive from my house. For me, the lemon is the verdello that grows in the countryside around here. In Sicily we boast the almond of Noto, but why shouldn’t I also use that of Castiglione, just as good, not known to the general public? This is the concept. Those who make ice cream put cultural, ethical, social and territorial value into the product “.The consumer must understand the difference and it is up to the ice cream makers to guide him, intrigue him, educate his palate . As the starred chef perceives today, he will gradually appreciate the value of high quality ice cream. Antonio Cappadonia and Giovanna Musumeci are part of Gelatieri per il Gelato , the national cultural movement that brings together those who work according to these same intentions, which also has a manifesto and rules of self-discipline.

The ten commandments of ice cream (Sicilian)


  1. Having your own territory as the one and only ingredient .
  2. Enhance the biodiversity of the place as much as possible , following the cycle of the seasons .
  3. Tap into the melting pot of cultures on which territorial identity is based.
  4. Recovering traditions . Being champions of memory.
  5. Be rigorous in processing , respectful of the raw material , never compromise. Ice cream is an act of truth.
  6. Support , by carrying forward the value of traceability, small producers , companies that operate according to quality criteria and respect for the environment.
  7. Ice cream is a food, it must gratify and also nourish in the healthiest way possible .
  8. Making a good ice cream also requires educating and always informing the consumer .
  9. Take care of yourself. Work with serenity . Ice cream reflects the mood of those who make it.
  10. Studying, training , putting knowledge and innovation at the service of artisan knowledge.

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