Spaghettieis: The Ice Cream That Looks Like Spaghetti

Imagine you’re five years old and being treated to a dessert at an ice cream parlor. As you arrive at the counter, you’re met with a bowl of spaghetti and tomato sauce. The tears flow like a flash flood. Dario Fontanella is the man responsible for the tears, and the smiles that follow when children discover the dish is actually ice cream and not pasta. Dario’s father moved to Mannheim, Germany, from a town in Northern Italy in the 1930s. When he was a teenager, Dario decided to honor his family’s homeland with food. Being the son of an ice cream parlor owner, he recreated an iconic bowl of spaghetti, tomato sauce, and Parmesan cheese by feeding vanilla gelato through a chilled spaetzle press. This device extruded thin strands of ice cream shaped like the German egg noodles it was designed to produce. Dario placed his ice cream “spaetzle” on a bed of whipped cream and topped it with strawberry “tomato” sauce and white chocolate “Parmesan” shavings. A wafer or cookie on the side mimicked a piece of Italian bread and the dessert became a hit. Today, it's so well-known that no child would shed a tear before diving into a bowl. Unfortunately, Dario never patented his creation, so just about every ice cream parlor in Germany makes some version of the frozen delight. Outside Germany, the sundae that masquerades as dinner remains relatively unknown.