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Life around the world

The joy of ice cream

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The Italians are famous for many things, including art, history, fashion and cuisine. Some of the best food in the world originated in Italy. As well as the stereotypical pizza and spaghetti, the Italians also make excellent desserts. Some of my favourites are tiramisù, panna cotta and of course, ice cream. The ice cream here is soft, delicious and very cheap. I am on my year abroad in Southern Italy and I have to resist the urge to eat it every day. There is nothing I like better than sitting on the seafront or on a park bench with a new flavour of ice cream, eating it quickly to stop it dripping onto my hands.

Frozen desserts were eaten in Ancient Rome but the ice cream that we know today appeared in Florence during the 16th century. It was a rich treat at the Medici family’s royal banquets. Ice cream became more popular in the 1920s when people sold it from carts in the streets. Nowadays, most of the ice cream produced in Italy is still handmade and there are over five thousand gelaterie, or Italian ice cream shops, in the world,

The ice cream shops here in Puglia are open for most of the day: people can go and have an ice cream at any time, even late at night. There are so many interesting flavours that you could never possibly get bored of it. I always spend ages looking through the glass, trying to decide what to have. I usually choose one of my favourites: coffee, wild berries or chocolate. One evening though, I chose a flavour typical of the South of Italy called “Zuppa Inglese”. It translates as ‘English soup’, which sounded funny and made me curious to taste it. I found out later that it is a dessert made from custard and sponge cake soaked in pink liqueur. The taste of the ice cream was quite strong but I enjoyed it anyway.

In an ice cream shop, the display of ice cream can be quite spectacular. I have seen shops with huge mounds of it decorated with fresh fruit and biscuits. They usually offer lots of different ice cream based desserts. I recently tried affogato for the first time: it is espresso poured over vanilla ice cream. I love the cold sweetness of the ice cream with the hot, bitter coffee. Ice cream is one of my favourite things about Italian cuisine: this year, I’m going to try as many flavours as possible.


Have you eaten Italian ice cream before? What are the typical desserts in your country? 


hadia's picture
hadia 19 October, 2015 - 16:30

UUUmmmm! Yummy The ice-cream in the picture is really very tasty!
Well, I've never tried Italian ice-cream because I've never been to Italy...........My one of the friends of school went to Italy some years ago....She s]told me that it's dessert were awesome :))) She loved the place too......I also want to go there.........
Well! desserts in our country are of many kinds but the typical desserts include Mithai and Halwa ...............and Yeah Jalebi too...... The last one is the yummiest!
Well! They all are yummy :))

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Jonathan - Coordinator's picture
Jonathan - Coor... 20 October, 2015 - 05:24

Hi hadia. As I'm a dessert lover, I'm wondering, could you describe those deserts for us? What are they made of and how do they taste?
Jonathan (LearnEnglish Teens Team)

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anna9's picture
anna9 2 November, 2014 - 15:19

My favorite dessert is ice cream . I have never eaten Italian ice cream but I heard that it’s the best. In my country , the typical dessert is the "kantaifi".

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leonguyen's picture
leonguyen 19 March, 2014 - 11:24

wow, i can imagine many delicous flavours now, according to what you've said in your article. It would be so great if i had a chance to get there and taste some :)

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Oliii98's picture
Oliii98 16 November, 2013 - 20:53

I have never tried Italian ice-cream, but i hope i will try it one day :)
I have never been to Italy, I was reading one book about Venice, and I really want to visit it :)

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WildChild's picture
WildChild 4 November, 2013 - 21:07

Ice-cream is my favorite dessert. ♥ :9 :) I've never eaten Italian ice-cream before, but I hope I will.

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learningenglish282's picture
learningenglish282 1 November, 2013 - 22:48

I have not tried Italian ice cream, hope i get a chance to eat it one day. Well, in my country or in my family in fact, we usually eat fruit jelly or drink some orange juice as a dessert or, you can have cocktail made of cherry and pineapple, sweet-bean-soup, and ice-cream ( It's delicious, however, i have no idea if it's tasty as well as Italian one).

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Harabeli Supersweet's picture
Harabeli Supersweet 1 November, 2013 - 17:26

Yes, I have eaten Italian ice cream and I love it. In fact, I enjoy all kinds of ice cream. Baklava is a traditional dessert in Albania. We usually make it on December, before Christmas and New Year. I just can't wait to enjoy it this year!

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Natalija's picture
Natalija 30 October, 2013 - 17:28

I've never tried Italian ice cream, I've never been to Italy. I heard it was the best ice cream, and I'd like to try it, Typical desserts n my country're cakes, especially those with lots of chocolate and nuts, tasty.

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