The Tartufo di Pizzo ice cream was invented in 1952 when a relative of king Victor Emannuel II came to Pizzo in honour of the celebration of an aristocratic marriage. For this occasion many guests were invited for an elaborate dinner. Unfortunately the hosts did not have enough cups to serve the guests the ice cream dessert but a clever pastry maker named Don Pippo de Maria came up with a creative solution. He invented an ice cream that did not need a cup but instead could be served on a plate. He put a small portion of hazel and a small amount of chocolate ice cream in the palm of his hand, he poured over some melted chocolate and then wrapped everything up in special paper to mould it. Wrapped up like little presents, he put the ice cream parcels back in the freezer before serving it to his guests.
Don Pippo’s invention earned him immediate fame. After the aristocratic wedding Don Pippo went back to his ice cream parlour which exists to this day. A former waiter of Don Pippo named Giorgio di Iorgi took over Bar Dante in 1964. It is still there on the central piazza in Pizzo and serves the famous Tartufo ice cream according to the secret recipe of Don Pippo.
Since then Tartufo di Pizzo ice cream has become legendary. The original recipe is kept under strict guard by the De Maria descendants.