Funny things in Germany I

Spaghette Ice Enlarge image Dario Fontanella serving Spaghetti Eis in his Mannheim ice cream shop (© © dpa)

Creative German Cuisine
Have you ever dreamed of combining noodles and ice cream? It may sound like the mad-cap dream of a 5 year old, but you will find an ice cream dessert styled to look like a plate of spaghetti at almost every ice cream parlor in Germany.

The idea started with Dario Fontanella—Mannheim’s own Willy Wonka.  The ice cream factory owner came up with the idea in 1969 and claims that in the beginning, it caused a number of children to cry—children who thought they’d been given a plate of spaghetti instead of ice cream.

Spaghetti Eis is made by putting vanilla ice cream through a chilled Spätzle press to create ice cream “noodles.”  These noodles are then arranged on a bed of whipped cream and topped with strawberry “tomato” sauce and finely chopped “parmesan” white chocolate.  Some ice cream parlors also offer variations of the classic—carbonara sauce can be mimicked with the use of chocolate and hazelnut sauce, for example.  Fontanella never patented the invention.

“Actually I only wanted to recreate our national dish,” Fontanella—whose family emigrated to Germany from a town outside of Venice in 1932—told morgen web writer Frank Buchholz.  In an interview with Stimme, Fontanella claims that he wanted to surprise his father and “offer ice cream in a new form.”  According to that interview, his original idea was to make Spaghetti Eis the colors of the Italian flag—pistachio ice cream for green, lemon ice cream for yellow, and strawberry ice cream for read.  But that creation was not a success.

Not ready to give up, Fontanella experimented with various ice cream flavors and looks.  His attempt to recreate Bolognese sauce “didn’t look good at all.”  After many experiments, he found the perfect combination: vanilla ice cream with pureed strawberries and white chocolate.  Because vanilla ice cream was expensive, he added the bed of whipped cream to make the dish affordable.  He was 18 years old at the time.

In 2014, Fontanella was awarded the “Bloomaulorden,” the highest citizen’s award in Mannheim.  From a city known as “the city of inventors,” that is high praise, and today Fontanella runs the family ice cream business Eis Fontanella Eismanufaktur Mannheim.  The Fontanellas have been in the ice cream business for over 100 years, the majority of which they spent in Mannheim.

A recent Canadian study reports that the German ice cream market is booming at a net worth of 2.7 billion dollars, which is more than the ice cream industry in any other European country.  Perhaps in part because of people like Fontanella, Germany was second only to Italy in the ice cream trade.

© Young Germany (www.young-germany.de)