One of my favourite things is Tiramisu, readily available practically anywhere, but really what I want to have when I choose Tiramisu is my Mum's Sherry Tortoni. The most sublime frozen creamy sherry dessert. I'm not exactly sure where her recipe came from, apart from that it was passed on to her by a friend while Mum and Dad were living in New Zealand in the 60's. My mother has the most fabulous cook book, and I am planning to raid it the next time I visit. I shall also pump her for more info about how she happened upon this particular recipe.
I did a bit of research on the internet and was surprised to discover that although the recipe is of Italian origin, it was actually developed by Giuseppe Tortoni in his own Cafe on the Boulevard des Italiens in Paris in the 18th century.
From there, the recipe traveled onwards to America. On 20th February 1798, Thomas Jefferson arrived at Mount Vernon, along with several other people, to celebrate George Washington's 66th birthday. While they had all brought gifts of food, Jefferson brought as well an ice cream dessert recipe he had obtained on a recent trip to Paris from Giuseppe Tortoni. In writing about the party later to a friend, Jefferson noted that Washington "had heard about the little Italian ice cream maker who was the rage of Paris and was delighted to receive the recipe ... and arranged to have the dessert prepared for our pleasure."
So there we have it, my Mum Nancy's Sherry Tortoni recipe all the way from Italy, via Paris, Wellington and finally now the Internet. Enjoy.