Maria Agnese Spagnuolo
Ice-Cream Maker & Owner, Fatamorgana Gelato
Growing up in the Apulia region of southern Italy, Maria Agnese Spagnuolo was surrounded by fruit and nut trees, where the fragrance of figs, peaches, apricots, and almonds filled the air, and excited all of her senses, from taste to touch to smell.
There was another passion that she found gave her the same invigorating feeling: Italian ice cream, also known as gelato. The flavors, while delicious, were traditional–chocolate, vanilla, pistachio, and lemon–so she decided to take matters into her own hands. At 10-years old, she commandeered her mother's ice-cream freezer and began experimenting to create something livelier. She added spices, fruits, and flowers, which gave the sweet treat an infusion of flavor that she hadn't tasted before, and that stirred the same senses she experienced among the trees.