If you like your ice cream to contain multiple flavors, as well as candied fruits and nuts, you’re in for a real treat today. August 21 is National Spumoni Day!
Some calendars list National Spumoni Day on August 22, which is when I originally had it planned. But there was enough doubt that I turned to both Wikipedia and our East Coast consultant, John, for confirmation. They both agreed it was August 21. Thanks for the help, John and inanimate website!
Spumoni is an Italian ice cream made with layers of colors and flavors – usually cherry, pistachio, and chocolate, but sometimes containing vanilla in place of one of the other flavors. There’s also a layer of candied fruits and nuts separating each flavor. Bits of cherry are common. I was hoping…nay, expecting…an interesting background story on the invention of spumoni, how the colors represent a famous Italian battle or something else of historical significance, but was disappointed to learn nobody really knows who or how spumoni came to be. Apparently it just appeared out of thin air one day. It is rumored to have originated in Naples, and is thought to be the precursor to Neapolitan (chocolate, vanilla, and strawberry). It is no longer very popular in Italy, but can be found more readily here in the U.S. of A.
I’ve never been a fan of spumoni, to be honest. I’m very familiar with it though, as it’s a signature dessert of The Old Spaghetti Factory, a restaurant my family dined at often over the years. To be fair, the spumoni they used to serve contained large chunks of candied fruit that turned my stomach; nowadays, they’ve scaled way back on that stuff and simply give you three flavors of ice cream: chocolate, pistachio, and cherry (the most popular combination).
Obviously, we went to The Spaghetti Factory for lunch. If not for them, I have no idea where we would have gotten spumoni ice cream. And honestly, it was better than I expected.