WhyGelato?

Because It Has a Long History of Being Delicious

It’s hard to imagine that Italian volcanoes Etna and Vesuvius have caused such an eruption in the 21st century America, seeing as these locations helped contribute to the development of frozen desserts more than 5000 years ago. First, Asian cultures discovered they could consume crushed ice and flavorings. Five hundred years later, it became a custom for Egyptian pharaohs to offer their guests a cup of ice sweetened with fruit juices. Romans later began the ritual of eating the ice of the volcanoes Etna and Vesuvius, covering it with honey. Then came the Italian Renaissance during the 14th century, when gelato was officially developed by famous artist and architect Bernardo Buontalenti.

From that point, gelato began dominating taste buds all over the world, including the U.S. beginning in 1770 after being introduced to this continent by Italian native Giovanni Biasiolo. At this point, there were two types of gelato – one made by mixing water with fruits such as lemon and strawberries (also known as Sorbetto), and another made by mixing milk with cinnamon, pistachio, coffee or chocolate. But due to the invention of the hand-crank freezer, and the subsequent birth of the industrial ice cream industry, gelato would take a back seat to American-made ice cream (which contains more air), and would not begin to re-emerge in popularity again until the late 1900s. However, as it stands today, gelato is one of the hottest commodities on the frozen dessert market, writing a new chapter in culinary history as one of the greatest success stories in dessert innovation

    • Asian cultures discover they can consume crushed ice and flavorings

    • Egyptian pharaohs offer their guests a cup of ice sweetened with fruit juices

    • The Romans begin a custom of consuming the ice of Mt. Etna and Mt. Vesuvius with honey

    • Ruggeri participates in a competition in Florence and wins with a frozen sweet (a sorbet)

    • Buontalenti prepares a banquet for the King of Spain and gelato is served for the first time

    • Francesco Procopio moves from Palermo to Paris and opens a café, making gelato famous all over Europe

    • Giovanni Basiolo introduces gelato in New York

    • Hand-crank freezer is perfected in America and changes the way the frozen dessert is made

    • Luciano Rabboni starts PreGel and creates the first semi-finished gelato product

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