In 1977, we were the first to introduce the popular dessert 'Tartufo Gelato' to New York. It is a variation of the famous Roman Tartufo found in Italy.

Over the years, our Tartufo has become known as the original and the best, together with a variety of other desserts that we proudly produce.

Now we have gone on to serve all of our authentic desserts to many of the finest restaurants in the New York area and beyond. Their customers appreciate our quality products and commitment to Italian tradition.

Here is an article published in the New York Times that speaks more about our company.

December 11, 2005

Urban Tactics

Confection Confidential


I FIRST met the New York tartuffo seven or eight years ago in a small restaurant in the West Village. It was a baseball-sized bombe, clothed in bittersweet chocolate: A candied cherry was at the center, wreathed in a halo of thin-sliced nuts and compressed between dense hemispheres of chocolate and vanilla ice cream. The dessert resembled the Dove bar and the chalky, utility-grade Eskimo Pie, but it was noticeably richer and apparently handmade, its simple flavors and colors making for a sweet, complex explosion. A corporation never could have produced it, I decided; mass packaging would have stifled whatever distinctiveness had survived the assembly line.

Over time I found myself intrigued with this apparently artisanal tartuffo. It became an unpredictable surprise visitor, popping up mushroomlike in restaurants across the city. One Asian menu offered it as "Hidden Treasure"; in another restaurant with two-star aspirations, the servers insisted it came straight from the kitchen and followed a secret recipe of the chef's.

Although the New York tartuffo is less common than it once was, fading behind the flourless chocolate cakes and tiramis├╣ that have eclipsed it as fashionable desserts, it still holds its own in many of the city's smaller, tradition-bound restaurants. It must, I eventually concluded, be coming from a nameless concrete-block factory somewhere in Brooklyn or New Jersey or Queens. But where?

A Manhattan restaurant owner, Dennis Eagan of Brunetta's on First Avenue at 12th Street, finally put me on the trail by divulging his tartuffo's origin: Delicious Desserts, at Fifth Avenue and 30th Street in Sunset Park, Brooklyn, opposite Green-Wood Cemetery. I set out on an exploratory visit, and as I walked along the cemetery wall, I smelled the place before I saw it: first a sharp drift of chocolate, then the feathery scent of cake in the oven, gradually melting into hints of bubble gum and, almost before the nose could detect it, turning into root beer. (As it turns out, Delicious Desserts makes a variety of baked and frozen products.) (...)

Delicious Desserts doesn't claim to have originated the New York tartuffo. That honor seems to accrue to another manufacturer, Bleecker Street Pastry, this one on 13th Street in Long Island City, Queens. Bleecker Street Pastry is also a secretive-seeming brick monolith, which, once you enter, reveals itself as a proud and affable firm, owned by the Di Saverio family, who first came to the United States from Abruzzi in the 1960's. (By contrast, the Fuscos, originally from Naples, have been in the United States for three generations.)

According to Lucia Di Saverio, the family matriarch, her father opened a pastry shop on Bleecker Street, Manhattan, in 1966. She took over in 1976, and soon began making the first New York tartuffo in the basement. The factory relocated to Long Island City in 1986, and the family sold the Bleecker Street shop five years ago.

Tartufo, Ms. Di Saverio explained, is the Italian word for truffle: The dessert, in imitation of the fungus, is a bumpy brown sphere. She traces the dessert's lineage back to I Tre Scalini, the famed cafe on the Piazza Navona in Rome. Initially, she followed the Roman recipe - a ball of chocolate ice cream studded with chocolate chunks and dusted with cocoa powder - but it sold poorly in New York and succeeded only after she had juggled it into its present form.

MS. DI SAVERIO's son, Domenick, sees no mystery in the making of it. But, like the Fuscos, he lets nobody into the kitchen and won't say where he gets his premium ice cream and chocolate. He, too, follows a proprietary recipe for flavoring the nuts, and he confirms a history of secret- and customer-filching among the city's half-dozen small tartuffo manufacturers - a competition in which Bleecker Street Pastry and Delicious Desserts seem to have seized the high ground.

Not that their tartuffi are twins: The flavorings differ, and the Di Saverios' version wears a slightly thicker, rougher, more trufflelike chocolate overcoat.

Mr. Di Saverio calls them "artisanal desserts" and notes a piquant irony. The handmade New York tartuffi, unique to America, are now fending off competition from much larger companies, many of them based in Italy - where tartuffi have in fact gone shamelessly industrial.

"People think anything European must be handmade," he said, "but in Italy there's a machine for everything," including, he added, one that mass-produces spherical tartuffi. They're all perfectly spherical, Ms. Di Saverio reports, as alike as ball bearings. But according to the Di Saverios, they have ice cream with nondairy components and inferior chocolate.

Mark Caldwell is the author of "New York Night: The Mystique and Its History."

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