Gelato's Literary Past and A Cool Morning Cappuccino

By , Contributor

Even gelato has a literary past. The first gelato is said to have been invented by Sicilian Francesco Procopio de Coltelli, who in 1685 went to Paris to open a coffee bar, known as Cafe le Procope, where his version of gelato became so famous that he is known as the "father of gelato."

The coffee bar is known as the first in Paris, and was well known as a haunt by the literati of its time including the likes of Victor Hugo, Voltaire, and Balzac. (Voltaire's desk remains on the second floor.)


While enjoying gelato you can ponder some of the wisdom of these literary artists who were probably pondering the same while there at Cafe le Procope and creating their masterpieces.

Cafe Procope plate.jpg“Life is the flower for which love is the honey.” — Victor Hugo

The hot summer days of Rome continue as September begins and one needs to find clever (and delicious) ways to stay cool and enjoy the taste of summer into autumn.

One cool find I have been enjoying at some of the local coffee bars upon my wake-up is a cappuccino with gelato and a mini cornetto (croissant).

With guests at our "pied a terre" in the city, I decided to wake everyone up with this sweet breakfast at home. This morning the sun was shining over the Coliseum, and after a quick trip around the apartment to open up all the shutters to take in the Roman sunshine, breakfast was served up on the terrazzo with a picturesque view of the Coliseum.

Cool Cappuccino

4 cups of cappuccino
4 scoops of chocolate gelato
4 scoops of vanilla gelato
Whipped cream (to make fresh use 1 cup of whipping cream)
Cinnamon stick
4 mini croissant or brioche or cornetti

Whip fresh cream til peaks form. Distribute the gelato in four large cappucino cups. Pour the cappuccino on top of the gelato and top with fresh whipped cream.

Add a pinch of cinnamon and top with a mini croissant, brioche or cornetti.

“All humanity is passion; without passion, religion, history, novels, art would be ineffectual”. — Honore de Balzac

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Celebrity chef and award-winning author Maria Liberati is considered one of the foremost experts on Italian cuisine and culture in the United States. Winner of the Gourmand World Cookbook Awards for her best-selling recipe novel series The Basic Art of Italian Cooking and her blog. Maria divides her…

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