Despite now being more famous for having produced Daniela Nardini
than for their long history of supplying Glaswegian holiday-maker
s with excellent food on their trips doon the watter
, the Nardini clan is world famous in Glasgow
for the excellence of their ice cream
The ice cream is manufactured in the back of their eponymous ice-cream parlour, which itself is located on the sea-front in downtown Largs, only a stone's throw away from their eponymous chip shop.
Nardini's are only one of many ice cream makers in Scotland who arrived from Italy in the late 19th and early 20th century.
In their case, they arrived in Greenock in 1890, originally on their way to the New World*. Instead, they settled in Paisley, with the patriarch selling statuettes door-to-door until he had saved up enough to open his own cafe.
In the early Thirties, the next generation resettled in Largs, and opened up a new cafe several years later in a purpose-built art deco building.
The family story has it that they mistook the bustling docks for those of New York
, so got off and settled there. This is easier to credit if you bear in mind that a) Glasgow
** was then the second city of the world's largest-ever empire - which at that time covered over one-quarter of the world's population; and that b) Glasgow became so large and prosperous by being the major trading port
and the New World
is effectively the out-of-town shipping port for Glasgow. Both Greenock and Glasgow will deny this viciously of course - Greenock to preserve its identity, Glasgow because it disliked giving a cut of the docking fees to its satellite port. Eventually a town was built nearer Glasgow at the top of the navigable River Clyde
. It was called, originally enough, Port Glasgow
. After a while, in the sixteenth century
, this still
wasn't good enough, and the Glasgow city father
s straightened out the Clyde to allow large trading vessels to dock right in the heart of the city.