The Girl Who Ate Everything

Blogging about food and whatever since 2004.

Bologna: Day 15 (Gelato + Torpedo Penguin)

"Morten, there isn't any coffee coming out of the pot! And it's been on the stove forever..."

I sat on the porch munching on something breakfast-like, paying mild much attention to what was happening on the other side of the door. Kåre had called for Morten. Something was awry.

"Ah, you probably forgot to put the water in. Many pots have been destroyed that way."

Curiosity got the best of me. I lifted myself from the uncomfortable green plastic patio chair to check out the carnage on the stove top. As soon as I crossed the kitchen's threshold an invisible, acrid-smelling demon clouded my lungs. And my pores. And my eye sockets. And any vacancies in my skull, of which there are many.

"Jesus, it smells like burning," I remarked while putting on one of my many looks of crazed disgust. Actually, it smelled a lot worse than that, but my vocabulary isn't colorful enough to appropriately describe the horrors of burnt coffee.

Kåre had accidentally melted off the espresso pot's handle. And its little plastic knobbly thing. And maybe some of its inner organs. Aw.

He broked it

The damage was done. Mr. Espresso Pot would espresso no more. There were two problems with this sudden death in the kitchen appliance family:

  1. The weegies had no source of morning caffeine.
  2. We had to get a new espresso pot for the apartment.

While Morten spent the day in the apartment getting ready to go back home (he planned to go to Milan that night since that's where his plan was leaving from the next morning), Kåre and I went on a espresso pot/gelato hunting adventure in the city center.


Il Gelatauro was the last gelateria on our list that we had yet to visit. It's not that far from the center of—perhaps a 10 minute walk eastward from the towers—but we had never before bothered to make that trek. Of 10 minutes.

counter + gelato hungry woman?  :)
I quite like the way this photo came out, but I don't know why
they also have wine

Don't wait until the end of your stay in Bologna to visit Gelatauro like I did. It was the most charming gelateria I had been to, bearing the atmosphere of a cozy cafe more than a place for a gelato quickie. And if some reason gelato isn't your thing (which is impossible, impossible I say, but pretend for a second), there's a display homemade baked goods past the gelato freezer with things of wheat-based origins. After reading about David Lebovitz's tour of Gelatauro's kitchen I really wish I had tried one of their cookies.

They also had a wall of wine. ...Yeah, I can't say that appealed to me much. But Morten probably would've liked it.

Figure 1

Anyhoo. Gelato time.

They had lots of flavors. Refer to figure 1.

ginger and pistachio
Ginger and pistachio

I settled on pistachio and zenzero, aka ginger—now that was a new flavor combination, mostly because I hadn't seen ginger at any other gelateria.

The pistachio was great, possibly my favorite pistachio gelato of the whole vacation. It had the heavenly buttery-smooth-warm-nutty flavor with just the right density—not digestion-stoppingly thick or insubstantially light. Just somewhere in the middle.

The ginger was disappointingly mild. I could barely tell what I was eating at first until I really concentrated, dedicating the few working brain cells I had to identifying the flavor. "Come on dudes, you can do it!" And then a slight tingle of ginger settled into the back of my throat. Very slight. Dare I say, a whisperrrrr. Or a slight poof of air. Poofffff.

Well, the pistachio was awesome. That made up for it.

pumpkin and cinnamon & pistachio
Pumpkin and pistachio

I would've enjoyed Kåre's cone of cinnamon pumpkin and pistachio more. Cinnamon pumpkin was yet another flavor I hadn't seen anywhere else. Guess what it tasted like!!! Like two of my favorite flavors smooshed together. It wasn't super mild like the ginger, but perhaps could've just a smidgen more of cinnamon. Then again, that might be the spice-laden pumpkin pie-lover in me talking.

I think he's enjoying it
Yom yom

I think Kåre enjoyed it. Just something about his facial expression, you know?

Does this hat make my fat look fatter?
Weird poster

After gelato stuffage, we went shoppin'! Kinda. I wanted the poster in this crappily taken photo (I didn't want them to see me taking a photo...with my dSLR) but the store didn't seem to have any left. The thing in the poster that looks like a pile of intestines/molten skin is asking, "DOES THIS HAT MAKE ME LOOK FAT?"

Funny! Heh! ...Heh?

If anyone knows where I can buy that poster, perhaps on the interwebs, please let me know.

torpedo penguin

We made a stop at a toy store to fulfill Morten's request for a penguin ball. But those Italians, oh, they make more than just penguin balls. They also make penguin torpedoes, or torpedo penguins as I like to call them ("ball penguins" doesn't sound as good as "penguin ball" though). Here I am swaddling a squishy torpedo penguin with my equally squishy Michelin Man-esque arms. I'm afraid torpedo penguin didn't come home with me—he cost about $30. I guess that's reasonable for a torpedo penguin, but I didn't think I'd get enough satisfaction out of him for that price.

Or maybe I would've. Aw. ...Now I'll never know.

Bottega del Caffe
Bottega del Caffe

Bottega del Caffe carried espresso pots. AND CHOCOLATE! Kåre and I were quite pleased—he got a new espresso pot (with a handle and everything!) and I scored a few bars of Amedei chocolate, whose entire selection they appeared to carry.


Back at the apartment I asked Morten to take a silly photo of Kåre and I wearing our matching shirts of massive awesomeness (from Pull and Bear). THE SHIRT IS SO AWESOME. Seriously. All those little creatures on the shirt floating about (better photo here, and yes, I shall explain that photo better in a future entry, hopefully to be posted within the next month or two) fill my head with a chorus of squealy happy sounds. "Weee...wee!" is what they're saying. Because they don't have large vocabularies, I'm afraid.

And the small size fits me perfectly. Because I am the same size as a small Spanish man! Or a large Japanese woman!

It wasn't long before Morten had to depart for Milan. :( "Bye, Morten... byyye!... BYEEEEEEE!!!" Don't worry, I didn't run frantically after him while flailing my arms to say my last goodbyes, thus causing him to pick up the pace and run to the bus, or into a bush, or anything to deflect my trajectory.

We'll see each other again. :) Perhaps in a America. OKAY MORTEN? YOU HEAR ME. COME OVER TO MY 'HOOD.

Morten's departure gave Kåre and me the enormous responsibility of feeding ourselves, i.e. making dinner out of whatever was left in the kitchen. Our cooking skills combined (or mine alone) amounted to a weeny percentage of whatever culinary knowledge was tucked away in Morten's mind—I was a bit afraid of churning out something inedible. Or making something explode.

But our "everything in the kitchen" risotto turned out good! Maybe there is a God after all.

Mm, cutting bacony bits
Oo, meat!

Kåre took charge of chopping up the bacon cube with our shitty knife. It squished most perilously, like tough Jell-O. Not a pleasant texture. Thankfully you can cook the Jell-O qualities right out of it.

I look like I know what I'm doing
I'm doing stuff

Here I am looking like I know what I'm doing. Poking our pot of vegetable matter (string beans, zucchini flowers—which exploded with Nature's sweet tastiness of some sort that I can't compare to anything else, random herbs of some sort), non-jello-y pork bits, and creamy Arborio rice.


Oh, and then we dumped in our leftover cheese. Mm, stringy lactose!

We succeeded! risotto

We succeeded! Barely! We had just enough broth to fully cook our nearly overflowing pot of risotto, which plopped on the plate quite heavily, laden with cheese and ...stuff. Starch, perhaps? I think Kåre then texted Morten to tell him that we successfully made something and thus weren't starving. Woot!

My last full day with the weegies was over. Only one more entry until this whole Italy trip is wrapped up.

I already feel sad.



Il Gelatauro
Via S. Vitale, 98/B
40125 Bologna, Italy

Bottega del Caffe
Via degli Orefici, 6
40125 Bologna, Italy


tom / November 5, 2007 3:54 AM

Those t-shirts are great!!!
BTW, tell the guys that they aren't the first to have done that to an Italian coffeemaker...I remember years ago, I left the flame in the burner on too high, and it melted the handle completely, causing a horrific stench in the kitchen.

Tahlia / November 5, 2007 4:24 AM

OMG...I just made "everything in the fridge" risotto. Yet yours looks MUCH tasty- something about my veganism and lack of cheese may have contributed to it being less than awesome...
Am loving your adventures in Italy and pleased that you were not starving :D

Marianna / November 5, 2007 7:13 AM

Those Italian penguin balls are everywhere in Italy! I got one myself when in Rome...

Also, ginger ice cream must be awesome. Funny, havent bumped into that flavour yet!

Hurrah for Italy and it's glorious ever-addicting gelati!!!

Geggie / November 5, 2007 12:30 PM

Yum, ginger gelato. Oddly, there is a wonderful gelato shop in Charlottesville, VA (where I don't have any contacts for your friend's employement). Last weekend when we were there I had ginger and cardamom, delish! The ginger was very gingery.

emily / November 5, 2007 1:59 PM

hi robyn! i discovered your blog a few weeks ago, and have been happily making my way through the archieves. if you're ever in san francisco, i'd love to show you some of my favorite fooding places :)


roboppy / November 5, 2007 2:21 PM

Tom: I think Morten said he had done it before too. Maybe more than once. :O

Tahlia: I thihnk risotto would taste awesome even without cheese! We only put it in cos...we had it. It's so creamy without. :)

I was opposite of starving. Ohh yeaaah.

Marianna: I think I have to get myself a penguin ball if I go back to Italy!

There's an ice cream shop in Chinatown here that makes awesome ginger ice cream. SO GOOOD. Not gelato, but...awesome.

KnittyOtter: I GET HUGGLES!!!!!


Geggie: My friend found a job, no problem there!

I'm disappointed I didn't eat gelato in c-ville. I remember passing a place and feeling too full to try it since I had already eaten dumplings and a veggie bun and a freakin' cheeseburger..damn. I don't think I can justify taking a trip down there just to eat,'s kinda tempting..

Urban Chick: Oh, I'm home! I've been home for more than a month. That's how long it's taken me to write about a 2.5 week trip. :[

Emily: Oh god, Kathy was just telling me about all the awesomeness of eating in SF! I'd love to go someday.

Kathy / November 5, 2007 2:38 PM

We go San Franscisco, yes?! ;) oh man. the list. you know THE LIST. That needs to be written down soon before it becomes a crazy squabble jobble of thoughts in our minds that we never get to!

And yes, the shirt! you're wearing THE SHIRT. I love THAT SHIRT! =)

Happy Monday!

Tina / November 5, 2007 7:50 PM

That torpedo penguin is soo cute! And I LOVE that t-shirt!

I thank you many weeks later (again) for scoring me some Amedei chocolate. Surprisingly, I still haven't finish them. I don't know if it's either because I'm fearing death by chocolate or I'm just feeling guilty from ingesting a lot of chocolate. Hmmm...

Your "kitchen sink" risotto looks pretty darn awesome, if you'd ask me.

Christina / November 5, 2007 9:29 PM

The espresso pot looks like a miniature in that photo!

That is the oddest poster I have ever seen!

I get what you mean about the spice, I made pumpkin cream cheese muffins the other day but I didn't put enough spices in it. It was okay, though now I have to bake more to make up for it. =D

dana / November 5, 2007 11:26 PM

lol! the image of morten running into a bush with you running after him makes me laugh the hahas. Oh, and thanks to this blog, I actually had a dream where I was eating gelato, and I never even had gelato, ever. Methinks I read this way too much. But better addicted to blog than crack I suppose.

roboppy / November 6, 2007 12:31 AM

Kathy: The list of all the countries we want to go to?!

Or the list of all the places we want to eat at...which is getting too long..oh my...

Tina: You're welcome for the chocolate! I wonder if it'll be at the chocolate show this year...shall keep my eyes open for it. :)

I AM surprised you haven't finished em! Get on that!

Geggie: I'm afraid that I haven't actually spent a full day in DC since...8th grade? On that school trip that all 8th graders in this area seem to go on, hehe. ;) Oh well. If I'm ever in your hood I'll definitely say something on my blog!

Diana: The last day was a little sad...I mean, to know that it was ending. But it was fun, yes. You could've had more gelato!

Risotto is easy to make. YOU CAN TRY IT! Sauté arborio rice and...cook it with broth and...stir it constantly and add more broth, etc. Okay, I'm missing a few steps in there. Eh.

Dana: I'm glad I could give you a happy gelato-filled dream. I WANT ONE OF THOSE.

Yes, blog addiction > crack. And cheaper.

Julie / November 6, 2007 2:34 PM

Holy laugh my butt off! I'm glad I link-hopped around and found your blog--it cracks me up! Poor espresso pot!

Morten / November 6, 2007 3:39 PM

I'm up for San Francisco. The american cities that seem the most interesting to me are:
1. New Orleans
2. San Francisco
3. Seattle
4. New York

I suppose I should have some time in all of them at some point. Just make sure you book us for French Laundry if we ever get to go to SF to eat :)

roboppy / November 7, 2007 12:55 PM

Julie: Poor espresso pot is now in heaven..with the other handle-less pots.

Morten: AHH I wanna go to Seattle! Seattle and SF...and LA...(and everything else, yeah).

And Kathy and I have our eyes on Per Se. -__-

lianne / December 9, 2007 9:52 AM

ooh, i love the refrigerator shirt! i have it and it's my favouritest shirt ever.

and mmm, i want gelato. which is a suspiciously frequent occurrence after reading this blog.

Vera / July 22, 2012 6:45 AM

I ate the famous pumpkin flavour at Gelatauro like 10 years ago...and still thinking about it! ahah
I think I have to go back to Bologna very sooon, at least for Gelatauro

nice post!

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