If you are Florentine and have not yet tried the Buontalenti del Badiani, there may be something wrong with you. The historical Gelateria Badiani opened in Florence near the stadium in 1933 and the flavor it is famous for is precisely the Buontalenti. In 1979, the Florentine ice cream makers promoted a competition to celebrate the works of the famous and eclectic local architect Bernardo Buontalenti. Badiani participated in the competition with a special ice cream flavor and won with the “Buontalenti”. Since then this specialty has become extremely popular amongst locals and all those who love gelato.
But, why a competition to pay homage to the architect Buontalenti? Because he was the one who transformed the sorbet, thus making a difference in the history of ice cream. A new recipe which made use of milk, honey, egg yolks, and a little wine. This became the egg cream and zabaglione. This “discovery” innovated ice cream making. It was discovered that ingredients containing fats, such as milk and eggs, could also be frozen.
Ice cream maker Badiani earned the first prize at the London Gelato Festival with his La Dolcevita di Badiani. It is made with heavy cream, milk, eggs, chocolate sauce, and hazel nuts and is an updated version of Buontalenti’s original recipe.
“It was a fundamental experiment for us. We wanted to see how the British responded to Italian ice cream. Now we can say it was an absolute success.”
This success has led to plans to open a Badiani Gelateria in London then working on making the history and quality of the Florentine gelateria known. If you are in Florence, stop at Badiani and try the Buontalenti flavor. You will become addicted.