Panna Cotta: The Cream of the Crop

Life is sweet with Giuseppe Barbero's irresistible panna cotta.

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Giuseppe Barbero

Photo By Dave Yoder

Appeared In
Special Issue
WWD Scoop issue 11/24/2008
“It can be more or less tasty, depending on the year. The animals eat grass in the summer and hay in the winter, so the cream has more of a perfume in the summer and is more creamy in the winter.”

But it’s not quite as simple as sourcing the best cream. Barbero toiled through trial and error to arrive at the perfect balance of ingredients for his recipe, and, this being the country of the bella figura, he also had to contend with appearance being just as important as taste.

“I tried everything,” he says, including using boiled fish bones in place of gelatin and trying out different ratios of cream to sugar.

Panna cotta can be dressed with anything from coffee, chocolate and forest fruits to mint or seasonal variants such as candied fruit soaked in muscat with nuts in winter, and marron glacé cherries in autumn. But Barbero is a purist and sticks to the original.

“We always do the same one: The traditional type [flavored with vanilla and topped] with caramel. That’s it,” he says.

However, Barbero’s less-is-more attitude goes out the window when it comes to the calorie content.

“Some people add milk to make it less fattening, but it’s not as if you’re eating a kilo,” he explains. “It is just a dessert, after all.”

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