With the start of summer, scooping up one of Italy’s most famous desserts from Gelato onboard Discovery Princess, Enchanted Princess and Sky Princess just got a little sweeter. The Princess Cruises gelato shops have been designated as Ospitalità Italiana, and are the first and only locations to offer an authentic Italian gelato experience outside of Italy.
The prestigious Ospitalità Italiana designation is issued by the Italian Chamber of Commerce committee, an organization of the Italian government, and confirms that every step of the gelato-making process meets or exceeds a strict set of standards as approved by official Italian auditors and experts, who review the process on a yearly basis. Only gelato shops that attain outstanding quality status are awarded the official Ospitalità Italiana certification.
Princess Cruises handcrafts its fresh gelato with Italian-certified ingredients and equipment each day in the pastry kitchens onboard the cruise line’s three newest ships – Discovery Princess, Enchanted Princess and Sky Princess. Corporate pastry chef Eric Le Rouzic trained with the best Italian chefs at the Gelato Carpigiani University in Bologna and the Gelato Comprital Atheneum in Milano to master the art of making this heaven in a bowl. Princess uses top-of-line gelato machines by renowned manufacturer Carpigiani and the Gelato display cases were produced in Italy by expert craftsmen.
“The ‘Ospitalità Italiana’ is a tremendous extension of our Italian heritage and gives us the opportunity to immerse our guests into the unique Italian culture found throughout Italy in our very own piazza,” said John Padgett, Princess Cruises president. “The designation also recognizes the incredible dedication of our pastry chefs and their passion to offer truly authentic experiences and the very best ingredients to our guests.”
Fun Fact – Gelato Isn’t Ice Cream
According to legend, the recipe for Gelato was popularized when architect Bernardo Buontalenti was asked to create a special confection for a member of the Medici noble family in the 16th century. Buontalenti mixed milk, eggs, sugar and extracts in a special machine surrounded by ice and salt, and egg cream-based gelato was born.
While it’s creamy, gelato has less butter fat and fewer calories. The authentic Italian ingredients are combined with Princess’ freshly sourced fruit and is made each day with milk, not requiring the extra fat from cream that is needed in ice cream for a longer shelf life. As a result, a scoop of gelato is 80-100 calories and the sorbet or “fruit gelato” has no fat and is only 50-60 calories, with no dairy.
Princess guests can choose from a variety of flavors – favorites like fior di latte (vanilla) and cioccolato (chocolate), to tiramisu, Nutella and caramello salato (salted carmel). The menu even offers dairy-free, fat-free sorbets and sugar-free gelato. Guests can enjoy them by themselves, with toppings or in such tasty combinations as “affogato” (with liqueur) or “coppe,” including indulgent creations like nutellone (Nutella gelato, Nutella and whipped cream) or amaretto and peaches (amaretto gelato, fresh sliced peaches and meringue drops).