Palmiro Bruschi has been an instructor at Carpigiani Gelato University for about 20 years, but his career as a gelato artisan began in the 1980s. Back then he learned the trade working in two of the most renowned locations for Italian and international tourism, Rimini and Marina di Massa. As in all busy beachfront towns, the most important gelato shops offered table service, and customers could feel welcomed and relaxed without overspending. Despite the differences in these two tourist destinations, the Tuscan and Romagna venues shared a common interest in providing excellent service.

"For customers, choosing a cup of gelato required attention and time, browsing through a menu full of options, and the service had to be impeccable. The gelato cups were generous, colorful, and beautifully decorated, the pictures on the menu inviting the customers to try the various flavors. Even eating the cup of gelato, slowly enjoyed while sitting at the table with a spoon, made the experience different from eating a simple cone while walking around outside." After this experience, when Palmiro decided to open a gelato shop in San Sepolcro, adding gelato cups seemed almost mandatory. "Our location wasn’t on the main street so we had to offer people a place to sit, and at the time gelato cups were seen as something new in town." An excellent choice! Not only were the cups popular in the summer, but they proved to be the best way to sell gelato even in the winter. Enjoying a cup of gelato in the shop with friends and family is just as fun in the coldest months, in the afternoon as a snack or for dessert after dinner.

“Initially we just had a single sheet of paper as a menu, with a few cups and a few photos. Today we have about 50 cups on the menu, including a mix of soft gelato, yogurt, fresh fruit, seasonal fruit, and classic, timeless cups.” Palmiro says that he uses around 15 flavors to create them and that they’re the same as those available in the display case, so there’s no need to differentiate the production. He also points out that to serve cups at the table a gelato shop must also have the right spaces and the right permit.

"Today in the gelato shop it’s easier to create products with special techniques. Today's technology has made production much faster and more practical. With blast freezers production times have been considerably reduced. I remember the famous ‘gelato tiles’ that were left overnight in the freezer to harden before they could be sold. Fulvio Scolari, my teacher, said that ‘gelato flowers’ were made directly in the cold rooms of large hotels, and the gelato artisans had to work inside them wearing jackets." Many other things have changed compared to the past, from the glass of the cups that maintains temperature better, to the esthetics of the product itself. Colored plastic inserts are no longer used. The cups are decorated with food products, flowers made of fruit, sauces, or other kinds of handcrafted inserts with different textures capable of offering a unique experience.

" There are lots of courses teaching how to make your own sauces and decorations, allowing you to customize your product and make it unique. For example, this year my colleague Gabriele Vannucci and I published a recipe book dedicated to decorated gelato cups, intended as a way to make artisanal gelato an 'elegant' dessert." The cups must be able to "captivate" and entice at first sight: it’s important to create beautiful products so that they can be photographed, remembered, and shared on social media, to promote the gelato shop. "But the most important thing is that the product be good so that the customer will want to eat it again and again."

For those who want to add gelato cups to their menu, Palmiro Bruschi suggests starting with a dozen or so classic cups so that the service isn’t overwhelmed, perhaps choosing to develop gelato versions of local specialties. Also, offer gelato cups designed specifically for children, for example small cups of spaghetti eis or little animals made using different sized scoops of gelato and decorated with cookies (like a teddy bear, snowman, or bee). We can’t forget that gelato cups will always have a special place in the hearts of all children: even years later we all remember the image of the waiter in the gelato shop coming towards us sitting at our table with a tray full of gelato, proud to serve us our cup, the most beautiful – and delicious – of all!

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Lechuga 23/05/2024
Gran Maestro, se que es un gran libro
Palmiro Bruschi

Palmiro Bruschi starts his career in the gelato world thanks to his family’s gelato shop, in the ancient town of Sansepol...



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