Troy Warren for CNT #Celebrations



National Spumoni Day on August 21st celebrates a delicious frozen treat which hails from southern Italy. 

Traditionally, three molded layers of flavored gelato create a unique dessert. The creamy creation often includes candied fruits and nuts in two layers and with a third chocolate layer.

According to a Chicago Tribune article from July 4, 1979, a “genuine spumoni” recipe was brought to the United States from Nola, Italy in 1905. Salvatore Lezza started a bakery in Chicago along with his wife, Lucia. Their traditional recipe called for three layers of semifreddo – an almond layer, semisweet chocolate, and stracciatella. Stracciatella is a type of gelato with irregular bits of chocolate in it.


However, around the United States, most spumoni will include a cherry layer with cherry bits, a layer of pistachio ice cream, and a layer of chocolate. Other varieties include hazelnut, vanilla, strawberry, pineapple, just to name a few. 

Serve spumoni sliced and you will highlight its beautiful layers. It’s also considered the traditional way to serve the ice cream dessert.  However, the ice cream lends itself to being scooped, too. When first seeing spumoni, it looks a lot like Neapolitan. Minus the added fruits and nuts, the two ice creams are very similar. In fact, spumoni inspired the Neapolitan. It also inspired cakes, cookies, and other recipes as well. 

HOW TO OBSERVE #NationalSpumoniDay

Many ice cream parlors offer their own version of spumoni. Order up a slice! Or, try making your own.  You can also share your own recipes or memories.  While you’re at it, be sure to invite someone to enjoy a slice with you!

While you’re celebrating, be sure to use #NationalSpumoniDay to post on social media.

Spumoni FAQ

Q. What is semifreddo?
A. Semifreddo is an Italian frozen dessert made from egg yolks, sugar and cream. Because the mixture has less water than ice cream, it is smoother and has a mousse-like texture.

Q. What does semifreddo mean?
A. The word “semifreddo” means semi-frozen.

Q. What kinds of desserts are made from semifreddo?
A. Besides spumoni, semifreddo can come in many flavors. It is often layered between cake or pastries and is served in the form of cake, just like spumoni.

Q. Where can I buy spumoni?
A. Several brands of ice cream makers offer spumoni in their lineup. Check out your local grocer or ice cream shop. You can even make it yourself!

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By Troy Warren

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