Christmas Italy Food 2016: Torrone Cremasco by Bandirali
Creamy, rich, nourishing. Fresh, delicious, satisfying. Healthy, delicious and homemade. We are talking about the Gelateria Bandirali, the ice cream shop was born in 1951 in Crema, the city whose name already evokes the sweetness. The family tradition in the production of homemade ice cream began more than sixty years ago, in 1951, when Anita, the grandmother, offered ice cream “homemade” to customers of her restaurant. A story that is passed to his son, who founded the ice cream shop on 1973, until his nephew Mauro Bandirali, that just twenty years ago, on 1991, he acquired the company giving it a decisive impact on the history of the family business by diversifying the offer and aiming innovation in production methods but always with respect for tradition.
Since then, the goal of Mauro Bandirali is to keep alive the tradition and produce a genuine homemade ice cream, made with only natural ingredients, enriched with selected raw materials and fresh fruit. Occurrences, experiences, awards: this long relay race saw the Gelateria Bandirali achieve excellent results and national awards, innovating production methods and rediscovering old recipes. And flanked by his wife Lorena, they have won several awards over time: in 2010 was rated the Best Gelato in Italy to the International Ice Cream Exhibition, in 2011 L’Espresso Food & Wine defines their as the best Italian ice cream. Listed on the main guides, Gambero Rosso, Golosario, L’Italia del Gelato, they have received the award of ” Lombardia Eccellenza Artigiana” on 2013, to name a few.
Mauro Bandirali really works in a traditional way and is attentive to all natural ingredients: milk, cream, sugar, eggs and fruit are selected and no added colors or preservatives. Use fresh milk from companies selected on the basis of quality and trust. All bases are prepared at home, they do not use semi-finished to have uniqueness in the product. But there’s more, more than a dozen years ago Mauro began making the Torrone Cremasco handcrafted, recovering old recipes and selecting with scrupulous care ingredients. The round pastries are made with almonds from a Slow Food Presidium of Puglia, albumen of fresh eggs, brown sugar and original acacia honey of Crema’s territory.
In a period that saw the nougat of Cremona, now in the hands (or rather, in the machines) of multinationals, it responds Crema, the result of one of the most skilled artisan pastries in Italy. The subject of the centuries-old rivalry between the capital and the town becomes one of the symbols of the Christmas season products. Raw materials of value and a “torronatrice” machine in a water bath fifties adapted to current regulations in the workplace are the secrets of which Mauro Bandirali it takes to get the nougat, brittle and rich in Toritto almonds. Egg white and sugar cane other unique ingredients, stirred and heated for about ten hours before creaming with almonds. Extracted the mass by hand and worked up to give the desired shape, the nougat is also prepared already broken.
The nougat has ancient origins and controversial, however, is certain that by the fifteenth century the handicraft production of this specialty has experienced remarkable development in Cremona territory, staying long active even after the rise of industrialization. According to tradition, the first torrone in Cremona would be served 25 October 1441 at the banquet which was held at the wedding, celebrated in Cremona, between Francesco Sforza and Bianca Maria Visconti. The new dessert, according to tradition, had been modeled by reproducing the shape of the Torrazzo, the bell tower of the city, where tradition has it that take the even the sweet name. The first reliable information about the nougat in Cremona dates back to 1543, when the City of Cremona nougat bought as a gift to some authorities, especially in Milan.
The “Torrone Cremasco” of Bandirali responds to the challenge of recovering this historical memory made of old machinery, recipes, scrupulous care in the selection of ingredients and lots of passion. A white on white of extraordinary kindness, distinguished only by the round shape of rustic loaf made even by hand, by the great balance and soft crumbly consistency. Crisp and fragrant, the Torrone Bandirali is packaged in round loaves of Venetian tradition. A clear reference to the tradition of Venice that in Crema territory dominated for four centuries. However, now alongside of this specialty has also added the Torrone Morbido with almonds in the classic stick format, always handmade, produced too with the same scrupulous respect for traditional production processes.