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  • I'm Zak the Baker.

  • My interest in bread-baking came from a general fascination of life's most basic food processes.

  • Now, I'm searching to find the craftsman of the modern day, the ones who have dedicated their lives to caring on the timeless traditions that make the world rich.

  • So part of the journey of trying to find out what an artisan is in the modern day is to understand how people are becoming artisans in the modern day.

  • We're here in Bologna at Gelato University.

  • Let's check it out.

  • 50-60 years ago, the old gelateries, they were working by trying.

  • Now, we are lucky because we know what's going on.

  • When you know why, when you know how to move, you can do something amazing, while still remaining artisanal.

  • My name is Stefano Tarquinio, and I'm a gelaterie from Carpigiani Gelato University.

  • First of all, gelato and ice cream not the same thing.

  • Gelato has less fat, less air, and served at a higher temperature.

  • All of which contribute to gelato's signature soft, silky, elastic texture.

  • Secondly, gelato is not some chic new trendy European version of ice cream, its roots are ancient, 3000 BC ancient!

  • Minor advancements were made by Sicilian fishermen with salt and temperature control, but the process was largely unchanged until the 1800s.

  • Making gelato before the 1800s was a physically exhausting process, taking up to four people to hand churn a single batch.

  • Now some purists might say that these were gelato's glory days, romanticizing the hand churning.

  • But the consequence of all this intense labor made gelato an expensive delicacy for the rich, out of reach to most.

  • Once the first motorized batch freezer hit the market in the early 1900s, the production never looked back.

  • Fast forward to the 1940s when Bruto Carpigiani began to design the modern gelato machine.

  • So fast, so efficient, so seemingly easy, but it begs the question: is the gelato maker an artisan even with all these incredible technological advancements?

  • The key, of course, if you want to make something good, is use fresh ingredients.

  • This is a class actually we have here in Italy because we are full of very good ingredients.

  • As you can see here we have fresh fruit, very good quality milk, from specific types of cows we have in this area.

  • So what we are going to have is something great because of the raw materials we are using here.

  • This is the role of the artisan, to select the good ingredients, to understand, to feel the good ingredients, in order to extract all the goodness, to give something amazing at the end.

  • Carpigiani, the Gelato University, was certainly an interesting experience, I've never quite seen anything like it.

  • And I think its really relevant today because here is how craftsmanship has evolved into the modern day, and technology has a lot to do with this one.

  • Right now, actually we have the technology on our side, so you can still work in an artisanal way, but using the technology on your side.

  • It doesn't feel very artisanal to me right now.

  • It feels like we're just dumping ingredients into a machine.

  • I mean I'll give you an example to understand. Sure.

  • If I make custard on a pan, or if I'm using a machine to make the custard, it still remains my recipe, it still remains my ingredients, it still remains what I want actually.

  • So I use the technology, but it still remains mine.

  • It's delicious. It's great.

  • Not bad at all.

  • You can have the most wonderful machine, but if you're not there to make the adjustments that the quality of the product is really going to be noticed.

  • So the question is, is technology getting so advanced that it pushes out the artisan, or is there a way to integrate good technology with the actual artisan and still get an artisanal product?

  • And I think we're trying to figure that out.

I'm Zak the Baker.

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The Gelato Maker | The Artisans of Italy

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    Julia Kuo posted on 2019/06/05
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