Stracciatella. A difficult word for many non-Italian speakers to pronounce, but one so worthy of the effort. Most of our readers will know stracciatella as the delicious vanilla and chocolate flake gelato flavor, but there is more to the story. Stracciatella is a term that is used in Italy to describe not just a frozen dessert but also a soup from Lazio and a soft cow’s milk cheese from Apulia.
It is difficult to say whether the soup or the cheese came first. Both have been menu staples for at least one or two centuries, but we know more about the Roman stracciatella. At Christmas, many poor Romagnoli would enjoy a large pot of brodo di carne made from chicken or other affordable meat. Faced with days of leftover soup, they came up with the idea of adding beaten eggs, parsley, and grated parmesan to the mix. Not only did this lend richness and flavor to the dish, but it also resulted in a streaked look, and thus was dubbed ‘stracciatella’. The soup had several variants across Italy, with some Italians adding breadcrumbs, marjoram, or nutmeg. In Emilia-Romagna it was known as the ’soup of paradise’, which Pellegrino Artusi sneered at. Known as the ‘Father of Italian Cuisine’ for early cookbooks like La scienza in cucina e l’arte di mangiar bene, he wrote that stracciatella was “A substantial and delicate soup, but paradise, unless it is the paradise of Muhammed, has nothing to do with it.”
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read more: italicsmag.com