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Tartufo di Pizzo with the inside visible
Cookbook: Tartufo  Media: Tartufo

Tartufo is an Italian ice cream dessert originating from Pizzo, Calabria. It is usually composed of two or more flavors of ice cream, often with either fruit syrup or frozen fruit — typically raspberry, strawberry, or cherry — in the center. It is typically covered in a shell made of chocolate or cocoa, but cinnamon or nuts are also used.


The word "tartufo" means "truffle" in Italian.


In the far 1946 master confectioner maker Dante Veronelli from Messina took over the Gran Bar Excelsior situated in the centre of Pizzo that was first owned by Mr. Jannarelli. The name was soon changed into Bar Dante in Honour of Mr. Veronelli.

In order to improve and give a future to his business Mr Veronelli was helped by a young man of great expectations: Mr Giuseppe De Maria ( known as Don Pippo), he, too, from Messina and whose contribution was absolutely important.

Merging the genial entrepreneue abilities of the former and the productivity of the latter, the two men were able to gain the attention of the majority of people thanks to the great quality and undisputed taste of their products.

The two artisans’s genius operated inside the production workshop just after the second world war.

Because of Mr Veronelli’s death Mr. De Maria remained the only owner of the running.

The “tartufo,” in its present shape was born in Pizzo in the laboratory of Bar Dante ( around 1952 ) just by chance: following the marriage of some local rich people, Don Pippo ( the maker of this innovative production) discovered that he had run off of molds and forms used for wrapping the ice cream and as a matter of fact he couldn’t supply the so many guests. Then he tried to resolve the problem using his genius: he put a small portion of Heizel ice cream and one of chocolate ice-cream in the hollow of his hand. After that, he added a little bit of melted chocolate. He then he wrapped everything in a paper food sugar molding thereby creating the well-known shape of the Tartufo which he then left to cool.

The success of the tartufo earned him immediate fame. The original recipe is still kept possessively safe by Master De Maria’s relatives.

In 1950 Giorgio Di Iorgi started to learn how to make the ice cream dessert. He had worked as a waiter in Mr. De Maria’s ice cream shop and ten years, after Mr. De Maria’s retirement, later he took over the business . Since then the business has been managed from father to son, handing down the secret recipe for the production of ice cream.


Tartufo is usually composed of two flavors of ice cream which are sculpted together by hand. If there is fruit in the middle, the ice cream may be scooped out from the middle and the fruit placed inside, or fruit syrup may be used to paste the two scoops together. If its shell is chocolate, special chocolate is usually melted and either dipped or poured over the ice cream ball after being cooled to lukewarm — though they can also be rolled in the chocolate — and then frozen. If its shell is cinnamon or cocoa, it is usually rolled in cinnamon or cocoa before freezing. If it uses nuts, they are usually put on by hand if large or rolled on if smaller. For a better shape, circular molds are sometimes used.