Blog: Dave Mancini

The Detroit Free Press recently voted Supino's Pizzeria tops in Metro Detroit (no small feat, given the competition; GQ ranks Detroit as third-best pizza city in the U.S.). Dave Mancini, Supino's chef and owner, gives the Kitchen Confidential tour of his Eastern Market gourmet pizza place and dishes on his favorite local businesses.

Post 5: Gelato!!!

I almost hesitate to write about this because I'm sure I'll be called on this in the future. I made the mistake of telling many customers that I was seeking a liquor license. That started about 11 months ago, but thanks to red tape I'm still saying the same thing now that I was then: "I'll have it in a few months."  (I do actually think it is that close now, but I should probably learn to not predict.)

All of that aside, I'm hoping to begin serving house-made gelati at the pizzeria by summer. I'm on leave from the 14th of March for Sicily (we're closed from then until the 29th, reopening March 30th), the generally accepted birthplace of modern gelato.  Corrado Assenza is considered by many to be the best gelato maker in Italy and he sets up shop in Noto, outside of Siracusa in the southeast corner of the island.  I'm hoping to pick his genius brain for gelato tips as much as possible. The dude is doing black olive gelato – whoa! – and it's actually supposed to taste really good.

Gelaterias are all over the place in Italy, and I punctuate every activity over there with a visit to a gelato stand. Eat lunch, get some gelato, check out the art museum, get some gelato, look at a beautiful church, get some gelato, dinner, get some gelato, sneeze, get some gelato.  It's a great way to live.  The best I ever had was a lemon gelato in the Trastevere district of Rome. It was so intensely lemon flavored and it had little bits of zest in it – just amazing.  

What makes gelato gelato and not just ice cream?  A few things, all meant to intensify flavor. For one, it is made with a large proportion of whole milk instead of cream. Allegedly, this means your tongue is less coated with fat so you can taste better. Less air is whipped into the product, so you've got more density, and again, more intense flavor.  Finally the product is to be served at just below freezing so it's barely melting when you get it, as opposed to the 10 or so degrees that ice cream is held at.  This means less cold, and less dampening of flavor.

So wish me luck, folks.  I'm hoping to have this thing together in the next couple of months.  Thanks everybody for reading. I hope my random thoughts weren't too much of a bore.  Ciao!