Sunday, October 25, 2020
Food Legends


In summer, packaged and industrial ice-creams master the beach. The father of all is undoubtedly the pinguino (also called cremino or mottarello) that dominates the market from high atop its stick

Summer is… ice-cream time! In summer, the ice-cream zoning is the following: industrial ice-creams at the beach, and handmade ice-creams by the scoop in city centers and seaside areas.

We are gonna leave aside tourists’ migrations, when they abandon the sea waves to go looking for a tasty and refreshing cone or waffle. And we will focus ourselves to the almost infinite queues we usually find in front of beach resorts to buy a small packaged ice-cream.

Industrial ice-cream, honor and pride of the Italian confectionery industry

The economic boom of the second post-war years gave a boost to the invention of the first ice-cream pops for bars and beach resorts. The first chest freezers and the first ads started appearing.

The absolute king of the stick, the so-called Pinguino, Cremino or Mottarello (chocolate popsicles), made his debut.

PINGUINO, MOTTARELLO, CREMINO: AN ICE CREAM, KING OF THE BEACHIts origins are lost in the mists of time. Some say it has been invented by the ice-cream maker Pepino in Turin, in 1884. Some think that it comes from Nervi, and other people believe of having seen it in the hands of an American kid, at a famous candies shop called Nelson, in 1920.

But no matter where it comes from, the pinguino miracle is not to be found in the chocolate glaze or in the creamy heart. Its secret is the stick.


The Pinguino and its multi-purpose use at the beach

At the beach, when the sun is at the zenith, kids get tan mostly because of the pinguino chocolate glaze, not so much for the sun exposure.

Moms, always prudent at the point of reaching hysteria, they think about everything to protect them from the sun: hats and sunscreens to give them shelter even from plutonium radiations. But they can do nothing against cream melting and chocolate explosions.

Kids don’t care. The purpose of eating a pinguino is getting to the stick. The sensation of the wood on the tongue is a bit annoying, it’s true, and you always think it might hurt you even if it never happened but, in the end, the effort is paid off.

At the beach, the stick turns into a tool that can compete with buckets and shovels. Raise your hand if you never used it to block the foosball ball-release-lever to get infinite balls to play.

After having played to foosball with no solution of continuity, the pinguini carcasses turn into flags poles, drawbridges, and crosses for sand castles. Or they end up as decorations for glass beads tracks.

PINGUINO, MOTTARELLO, CREMINO: AN ICE CREAM, KING OF THE BEACHOnce they have the necessary sticks, the young bathers can stop eating pinguino gelati, and finally enjoy all other different kinds of ice-cream. Good job.

Algida, Sammontana, Eldorado, and Sanson: thank you for your frozen colorful and creative packaged snacks. The Italian summer would not be the same without you. And yes, us, the millennials, we miss you a lot, as much as bar video games, and trampolines.



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This post is also available in: Italiano (Italian)

Barbara Ficetola
My name is Barbara and I live for the arts. Before I attended the art school and then Fine Arts Academy in Florence. Oh, let me tell your a legend. Try to picture a girl before exposing her graduation thesis. An inattentive examination board as the professor that followed the progression of the thesis. Then this girl starts to talk: she talks about the arts and how to let it feel to blind people at the “Francesco Cavazza Institute”, in Bologna. The visual art par excellence at one side and to the other side who cannot enjoy it. The legend says that the blind people could see and the inattentive professor cried. Strange stories and legends. No future. No past. But they leave visions of the world. Now I give my artistic vision to foodiestrip. And I swear, I will never talk about future, past or legends anymore.