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molto e

Arlecchino Gelateria (Phoenix)

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Arlecchino Gelateria

40th St. & Campbell

602-955-2448

They say the first step to recovery is to admit you have a problem

Hello my name is Molto E, I am an Arlecchino Gelateria addict.

That was easy, but somehow I do not think this admission will stop me from the force that keeps pulling me to Campbell and 40th street to the front door of Arlecchino Gelateria. I am not alone in my problem, in fact this vice seems to have spread like wildfire and it's victims are yound and old. I am sure that even Sheriff Joe could not withstand the force that keeps bringing us back to Arlecchino. I do not know how Customs could have let Moreno and Marina Spangaro into the country with the knowledge to make gelato like none that I have ever had. Moreno apprenticed with his "Maestro" for two years in Trieste, Italy without pay to learn the in's and out's of high-end gelato. All I know is that the "Maestro" is in Trieste, but the name of the shop is a mystery. Italians do not take their gelato lightly and I can see after tasting this stuff, why that is. Moreno is an artisian, he makes everything from scratch-his base and all the flavor components. His chocolate contains 7 different varieties and is sinful. After tasting Arlecchino's gelato, you will now realize that your old favorite gelato stand does not make everything from scratch. They buy the base and add artificial flavoring to it. I have a hard time picking a favorite. I seem to gravitate towards the Pistachio, Cortina (roasted almond with lingonberries), Amaretto (available on the weekends, yep made with the real thing), Cafe Espresso (made with 35 shots), stracciatella (dark chocolate flakes in his Fior di Latte base). I do not usually go for the fruit flavored gelatos, but Moreno tempted me with a free sample. The fruit flavors are like eating the real thing, because Moreno squeezes 10 pounds of fresh fruit into each flavor.

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I have commissioned Moreno to make white and black truffle gelato for a restaurant that I am opening with Chef Kevin Binkley. I will post the pictures of the gelato making process with some descriptions.

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This is where the process starts, the bowl comes from Italy and that is where the infusions take place.

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Moreno infused white truffle with milk, heated it and let it rest.

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Then combined the infused milk with his "Fior di Latte" (heart of the milk) base and put it into the machine.

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As the gelato came out of the machine, he shaved layers of white truffle across the pan of gelato.

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Then shaved truffle across the top with a traditional truffle slicer.

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White truffle gelato with white truffle honey, now that is the DOPE!

Once an Italian starts shaving truffles, no one knows where it will stop. :shock:

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Yeah, let's order another one and shave it the other way :unsure:

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Good Eating,

Molto E

Phoenix Best Bets:

Binkley's Restaurant

Sea Saw Restaurant

Zinc Bistro

Cyclo Restaurant

Lo-Lo's Fried Chicken and Waffles

Kohnie's- Coffee, Breakfast, Lunch and Best Scones

Pizzeria Bianco

Pane Bianco


Eliot Wexler aka "Molto E"

MoltoE@restaurantnoca.com

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There ought to be a law.... Clearly this must be illegal! :cool:


John Sconzo, M.D. aka "docsconz"

"Remember that a very good sardine is always preferable to a not that good lobster."

- Ferran Adria on eGullet 12/16/2004.

Docsconz - Musings on Food and Life

Slow Food Saratoga Region - Co-Founder

Twitter - @docsconz

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This is great gelato. The passion for gelato the owners of this Gelateria have is there in every spoonful. Truly artisan gelato.


Edited by ahurwich (log)

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oh yeah baby

Got to go several weeks ago on my way to Tucson. I had the chocolate hazelnut with wild cherries. OMG. What I'm wondering is.... is it some of the best gelato I've ever had OR was it because I loved that combo So much HMMMMM will just have to back again and again and again. Thanks God I live far far away or my pocketbook would be so much lighter and me not so light

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oh yeah baby

What I'm wondering is.... is it some of the best gelato I've ever had OR was it because I loved that combo So much HMMMMM

That was the best gelato that you ever had :wink:

Molto E


Eliot Wexler aka "Molto E"

MoltoE@restaurantnoca.com

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Arlecchino Gelateria: A Taste of Italy in Arcadia

As summer arrives in Phoenix, where can you find fresh seasonal fruit right off the vine and cool down at the same time? Arlecchino Gelateria, that’s where!

Owners Marina and Moreno Spangaro left Italy, found the Valley of the Sun, and opened Arlecchino Gelateria in Phoenix’s Arcadia district in January. With them, they brought the know-how to make the finest artisan gelato I have ever tasted.

I know I’m not the only one who is awakened in the night by dreams of Pistachio, Cortina (roasted almond with lingonberry), Blood Orange (sadly, the season is just now ending) and the other addictive flavors of Arlecchino Gelateria. I’m told there is also a future entrepreneur, a high school kid, who prepaid for 100 scoops in order to receive a bulk discount! Why didn’t I think of that? And then there are those groups of parents and their children who stop at Arlecchino on their way home from school everyday for their after school treat . . . or should I say fix? What am I doing there everyday? Research. Yeah, that’s it, research.

The gelato craze has hit Phoenix, and with Arlecchino, we are lucky to have trained and seasoned gelato makers. A couple of years ago, Moreno Spangaro walked into his favorite gelateria in Trieste, Italy and asked famed gelato maestro Fabio Sacchetto for an apprenticeship. The “Maestro” had never considered taking on an apprentice, but he told Moreno, “Today is your lucky day. You start TONIGHT.”

Moreno swore an oath (yes, we are talking gelato, but this is Italy, after all) that he would never open a shop in Italy or divulge the recipes without the consent of the “Maestro.” For two years, Moreno worked 14 hours a day for no wage learning the ins and outs of artisan gelato.

“To make gelato the way that I make it, there are no short cuts. A short cut does not exist. There is only one way to make it from A-Z. Any other way to make the gelato does not exist for me, for other gelato shops -- yes, but not for me. It’s a way of life for Italians to make authentic gelato. Italians grow up with it and it is an entire culture; a lot of passion to make the finest gelato.”

In Italy, interested “Gelatartios” (the official term in Italy for a gelato maker) go to Gelateria Schools, which are similar to culinary schools in the U.S., to learn the trade. Shops in Italy that prepare the gelato to the proper standard of quality are given certificates of authenticity. This level of uniform supervision and quality control is something that does not exist in the United States. In fact, most gelato shops in the United States don’t even make their bases or flavors from scratch. Instead, they purchase pre-made bases and flavorings. True to his Italian schooling, Moreno’s credo is “Quality, Quality, Quality”, and he never uses pre-made ingredients.

In Italy, to be considered a proper Gelateria, the gelato must be made from scratch.

Moreno explains how important this is: “If you buy the bases and flavors pre-made from some company, that means you are using the same product that thousands of other gelato shops that buy the same product use. The gelato has no character; this is what I do not like about the modern way some people make gelato. If you make everything from scratch, you use your own recipe and everything, then it is YOU. If the product is bad, it is your fault and if the product is outstanding, it is because of YOU that the product is outstanding. If you buy the bases and flavorings then say that you make the best gelato, then really what you are saying is that you make the best gelato that the other thousand companies serve as well. That is not character!

‘It is nice. It is very nice to see the finished product when you make it. It is like a baby. You have a baby in your stomach, you wait for months and it is your own creation.”

Seasonality is something that Moreno takes very seriously. His fruit gelatos come from freshly squeezed fruit, never frozen, and never out of season.

“For example what you have to keep in mind is when you work with seasonal fruit, how is it possible to go into a gelato shop in June, July or August and find fresh Blood Orange gelato? Why do people believe that is fresh squeezed fruit? It is not fresh squeezed, because you can not find that particular fruit in that season.”

I usually am not a big fan of fruit gelatos, but the fruit gelatos at Arlecchino are truly distinctive. Moreno’s use of fresh, organic fruit is one major reason why. One of Moreno’s fruit purveyors is McClendon’s Select, which grows Certified Organic citrus. Moreno squeezes between 14 and 22 pounds of fresh fruit to make one pan of gelato.

“Fruit gelato is not easy to make if you use fresh fruit, because each fruit has a different sugar content and different ratio of solids to liquids. If the gelato is not balanced properly, it will freeze in the case.”

Arlecchino offers 18 flavors a day and I have eaten my way around the display case without being able to narrow one down as my favorite. The pistachio is made from 100% Sicilian pistachios, which are considered to be some of the best the world has to offer. Moreno could use California pistachios which can be very good -- and are a quarter of the price of the Sicilian -- but he loves the terroir of Sicily. His chocolate gelato contains six different kinds of chocolate: three varieties of pure brut and extra brut cocoa powder from different origins and three different kinds of dark and extra dark chocolate. He combines all these components to create a deep, complex and unique flavor of chocolate. On Fridays and Saturdays, Amaretto gelato is a special flavor that is not to be missed.

Even now, I am starting to get that feeling that slips into my soul at the slightest thought of Arlecchino. See you there!

(article from Edible Phoenix)

Phoenix Best Bets:

Vu at the Hyatt Regency Scottsdale

Sea Saw

Binkley's Restaurant

Zinc Bistro

Cyclo

Lo-Lo's Fried Chicken and Waffles

Kohnies-Coffee, Breakfast and Best Scones

Pizzeria Bianco

Pane Bianco - Chris Bianco's sandwich shop

Matt's Big Breakfast

Arlecchino Gelateria

The Pork Shop

Grazie Pizzeria


Eliot Wexler aka "Molto E"

MoltoE@restaurantnoca.com

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Michele Laudig just published what I am calling the Gelato Manifesto on the BEST gelato that I have ever had.


Eliot Wexler aka "Molto E"

MoltoE@restaurantnoca.com

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Thanks for the link, molto e!

I love this part of the article:

"How do you get blood oranges in June, July, August, and it looks like a red Ferrari?" Spangaro says, incredulously. "I've had people say to me, 'What? Do you squeeze the oranges yourself? You're crazy. Why don't you make it simple?' And these were people who own gelato shops."

Apparently, people who own gelato shops are his biggest critics. He mentions a number of run-ins with competitors — all unnamed — who've come into Arlecchino to question his methods. Does he really cook his own chocolate from scratch? Are the gelato bases really homemade? Is the pistachio gelato really made with 100 percent pure Sicilian pistachios, with no fillers?

He laughs it all off, though, and says he knows a good testing lab that could prove the purity of his gelato ingredients, if it came down to it. Spangaro's an unabashed quality freak.

During a recent visit to Phoenix, I ate gelato at Arlecchino on 4 separate occasions and probably tasted about a dozen flavors over those visits. Their product is, by far, the very best I've ever eaten and it's leaps and bounds beyond its closest competitor. The intensity of flavor, creaminess and density of their gelato is what separates them from other producers.

I miss Arlecchino and have thought about it everyday since we left Phoenix. It's just about the perfect rendition; simply stunning.

=R=


"Hey, hey, careful man! There's a beverage here!" --The Dude, The Big Lebowski

LTHForum.com -- The definitive Chicago-based culinary chat site

ronnie_suburban 'at' yahoo.com

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Reading this thread just made me sad... or more specifically, homesick. I just moved from Phoenix, and Arlecchino is among the things I miss the most (along with Delux hamburgers, Pane Bianco sandwiches, Tammie Coe cupcakes, Backstreet Wine Salon, etc., etc.)

Sigh and a tear. Desert dwellers, have a scoop for me.

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I had the pleasure of sampling a number of flavors at Arlecchino back in March that were all sensational. The only comparables that I've had for gelato are some in Italy and the olive oil gelato at Otto in NYC, which remains my all-time favorite. At Arlecchino I sampled about 8 different flavors. I can say that I have never sampled a better body of work in gelato than there.


John Sconzo, M.D. aka "docsconz"

"Remember that a very good sardine is always preferable to a not that good lobster."

- Ferran Adria on eGullet 12/16/2004.

Docsconz - Musings on Food and Life

Slow Food Saratoga Region - Co-Founder

Twitter - @docsconz

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Here's a bit more detailed take on my first trip to Arlecchino, which I alluded to above . . .

With the possible exception of some great gelato I once enjoyed outside the Duomo in Florence, the Arlecchino Gelateria in Phoenix serves the best gelato I've ever eaten. Period. It is rich and dense and the flavors are simply unparalleled.

Not only did I cap off my panini with a 2-scoop portion of delectable, creamy gelato but I also returned to Arlecchino 3 more times during my stay in Phoenix. I normally don't even like sweets, yet I found myself thinking about Arlecchino at all hours. I'd wake up in the middle of the night and think about which flavors I was going to try the next day. I became instantly obsessed.

Arlecchino is owned by married couple Marina and Moreno Spangaro, who left Italy for the Phoenix area a few years back. Before they came to the U.S., Moreno was persuasive enough to arrange for himself an extremely rare, 2-year apprenticeship, learning the 'ins and outs' of gelato from the famed 'Maestro' in Trieste, Italy; Fabio Sacchetto. After agreeing that he would never open a gelateria in Italy or reveal the recipes without specific consent from Sacchetto, Moreno began working 14-hour days, without pay, learning the craft.

Obviously, seasonality plays a huge part in Arlecchino's gelatos. This is especially true because they are made 100% from scratch. No bases, flavors, purees or concentrates are ever used. As far as Moreno is concerned, gelato which includes such ingredients is not really gelato at all.

On my first trip to Arlecchino, I enjoyed a scoop of pistachio and a scoop of cortina (roasted almond with lingonberry). I could not believe how bright the flavors were, how rich and dense the gelato was and how satisfying the mouthfeel was. It was simply perfection. Over the ensuing days, I also enjoyed the gianduja (chocolate and hazelnut with cherries imported from Italy), mascarpone, lemon, strawberry, valentino (pomegranate) and many, many more. On our last day, a new flavor had appeared in the case: blood orange. Marina told us that it was the last batch of the season. Their friends near San Diego, who have a blood orange tree in their yard, had just sent them the last fruit of the season. The resulting product was singularly spectacular.

I cannot express in words how tremendous this gelato was. It makes me sad thinking about how long it will be before I get to enjoy it again. But I know that someday -- probably next spring -- I'll have another chance. In the interim, I have begun my search for a suitable substitute but I'm not optimistic.

=R=

Arlecchino Gelateria

4410 N 40th St.

Phoenix AZ 85018

602 955-2448


"Hey, hey, careful man! There's a beverage here!" --The Dude, The Big Lebowski

LTHForum.com -- The definitive Chicago-based culinary chat site

ronnie_suburban 'at' yahoo.com

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I'm bummed that I missed the blood orange!

There is a topic in New York on The State of Gelato in NY right now. There is no doubt that Arlecchino if it were in NY would be at the top of the list there too.


John Sconzo, M.D. aka "docsconz"

"Remember that a very good sardine is always preferable to a not that good lobster."

- Ferran Adria on eGullet 12/16/2004.

Docsconz - Musings on Food and Life

Slow Food Saratoga Region - Co-Founder

Twitter - @docsconz

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