Italy is renowned for its culinary gifts shared all around the world, pasta and pizza, to name a couple… but nothing refreshes us on a hot summer day like delicious gelato. This sweet treat we all indulge in today has quite an interesting history and fact which you may not have known about this creamy, cooling delicacy.
1. The Italian Word Gelato Means Ice Cream
The word congelato means frozen in the Italian language. Gelato is an Italian word which means ice cream. Like ice cream, gelato contains sugar, milk and flavouring like nuts and fruit, but gelato has significantly less cream and fat than ice cream with typically no eggs.
2. Early Italian Gelato Was like Sorbet
Even though we can confirm the exact roots of gelato, ancient communities in Egypt and China added salt and fruit to snow, making a primeval cold dessert. Ancient Roman emperors supposedly consumed a similar dessert, and this dessert is one of the multitudes of culinary creations, but Italians used water instead of milk, this meant that early gelato resembled sorbet.
3. The First Gelato Café in Paris is Still Open Today
In 1686, Procopio Cuto, a fisherman and chef from Palermo, made the first gelato machine. He started a café called Café Procope in Paris, which sold coffee and gelato to Parisians and literary thinkers including Voltaire and Rousseau. Astonishingly, you can still visit Café Procope and the restaurant now serves tuna steak, snails and beef tartare.
How Does Gelato Have Less Fat & More Flavour Than Ice Cream?
It is not uncommon for people to love gelato as it unbelievably has considerably less fat than ice cream yet tastes much more flavourful. Gelato is thicker and smoother than ice cream because less air is churned into it when it is being made. Within out blog post ‘Gelato vs Ice Cream’ we mention that gelato uses significantly less cream therefore, as cream is high in fat, this fat coats your palate, seemingly shielding your tastebuds to have less of a taste of flavours.
Gelato’s Warmer Temperature Gives It Stronger Flavour.
Gelato is typically store at warmer temperature than ice cream. Ice cream is usually served frozen at approximately -20 Celsius, while gelato is -13 Celsius. The warmer temperature allows gelato to keep its soft, smooth and savoury for your tastebuds so your tongue will less numbed by the cold, this way you can appreciate the flavour to the fullest.
The Gelato World Cup Is A Yearly Competition
Every year international teams contest at the Gelato World Cup known as the Coppa del Mondo della Gelateria in Italian. Teams from countries including Japan, Morocco, the United States, Spain and Australia travel to Italy to compete. These teams contest to make their best gelato, sundae and even ice sculptures. In the 2018 Gelato World Cup, France came first, with Spain second and Australia claiming the third spot!
Popular Gelato Flavours Available in Italian Gelaterias & Pure Gelato
Whether you are ordering gelato in Sydney or Italy, you should know gelato terms and the best flavours. If you’re in need of strong caffeine, Affogato which is a gelato combined with espresso. If you want extra decadent gelato, choose Gelato Con Panna. Also, delicious Italian gelato sandwich is known as Brioche Con Gelato. But in Italy and Pure Gelato, Gelaterias extend beyond flavours like vanilla and chocolate, you can find a plethora of fruit-based flavours, with popular flavours like:
Bacio – (chocolate hazelnut),
Stracciatella (vanilla with streaks of chocolate chip),
You can view our Flavour List to view over 150 award winning flavours.