SOOKIE: A Musso Lussino 480!
LORELAI: Somebody sent me a Fascist ice cream maker?
The episode begins with Lorelai receiving a mysterious late wedding gift from someone who apparently doesn’t know her wedding with Max was cancelled. When Sookie and Rory persuade her to open it (in case there’s a card inside), it turns out to be a Lello Musso Lussino 480 ice cream maker.
This is a top-shelf ice cream maker, made in Italy, producing restaurant-quality ice cream in half an hour for the domestic market. It’s extremely expensive, costing almost $1000 today. Lorelai jokes that it’s a Fascist ice-cream maker, because its name sounds slightly like Mussolini, and of course Lorelai has to refer to it as Il Duce.
We never discover who sent Lorelai the ice cream maker. It seems reasonable to guess that it was Emily, trying to give Lorelai her gift anonymously. It’s certainly the kind of expensive gift she would pick out, and it’s thoughtful, because this ice cream maker is quick and easy to use – she knows Lorelai and Rory are not at home in the kitchen. It seems telling that just after she told Lorelai about the wedding gift she chose, refusing to say what it was, she asked them if they wanted ice cream.