This summer, we will all be trying Apfelstrudel! Cone or cup - it doesn't matter - the important thing is to pluck up the courage to set aside your favorite flavor and try something new. There’s no chance you’ll regret it.
Apple strudel is indeed the flavor of the year chosen by Austria in homage to the nation’s traditional dessert. So what can we expect? A delicious milk-based gelato with pieces of apple, lightly flavored with rum and lemon, with a sprinkling of cinnamon and sultanas. All gelato makers who wish to sell this special flavor must stick carefully to these basic ingredients, with any additional personal touches they may choose. This is the official flavor of European Artisanal Gelato Day. The only day that Parliament has so far dedicated to a food. Presented in 2009, the proposal conceived by Longarone Fiere and Artglace was accepted on 5 July 2012, with a clear motivation: “of all fresh dairy products, artisanal gelato is a product of excellence in terms of food quality and safety, raising the profile of agri-food products in each individual Member State”.
Apple strudel is the flavor of the year chosen by Austria to pay homage to its traditional dessert
After a dark period in the 1980s when the popularity of mass-produced ice creams shot way above preferences for artisanal gelato, cones and cups are back on the podium of the best loved desserts in Italy, with a hefty 2.8 kilograms eaten per capita in 2021! Translated into figures, artisanal gelato has a turnover of EUR 2.7 billion in Italy with 20% of consumption by foreign tourists.
Cones and cups have returned to the top of the list for Italians, who ate a hefty 2.8 kilograms of per capita in 2021! Translated into figures, artisanal gelato has a turnover of EUR 2.7 billion in Italy with 20% of consumption by foreign tourists.
And since it is kids who are the biggest fans of this delicious but healthy treat, in 1986 the ‘Gelato a Primavera’ (Gelato in Spring) initiative was founded, in which gelato makers from all over Italy hold a week of free gelato to elementary and nursery school pupils to promote this Italian product of excellence. This year the event is scheduled from March 21 to 25.
Cones and cups have returned to the top of the list for Italians, who ate a hefty 2.8 kilograms of per capita in 2021! Translated into figures, artisanal gelato generates a turnover in Italy of EUR 2.7 billion
Among the more than 600 flavors on the market, the favorites for kids are still chocolate and hazelnut. Although, from time to time, a flavor with an imaginative name or an extravagant color threatens to upset the rankings. This is what happened in the 1990s with the flavor Puffo (Smurf): a milk-based gelato with a fairly neutral flavor, but colored bright blue, capturing the attention of the majority of small gelato fans familiar with the adventures of the Belgian cartoonist Peyo.
But there is worse. The art of master gelato maker has been refined to the point of creating increasingly bizarre flavors for the more daring among the adult aficionados. And so we find gelato with cuttlefish ink and squid ice, or wasabi flavor. From the US, we get ham flavor or even beer flavor ice cream. While for the seriously adventurous, there is even viper flavor. For those who like the idea of enjoying an aperitif in the ice cream parlor, there is always the Spritz or Negroni flavor.
In short, gelato is for everyone…and for all budgets. The records for this Italian excellence include the eye-watering price of USD 817 for the Black Diamond created by the Scoopi Cafe in Dubai. The dessert is in fact embellished with a cascade of edible 23-karat gold flakes, on a Madagascan vanilla gelato with saffron and a sprinkling of black truffle.
It’s hard to identify the inventor of the best-loved dessert in the world. The first prototypes date back to ancient Egypt and ancient Rome, but these were mostly fruit drinks with snow and ice. The closest to the ice cream we know today is il Buontalenti, created in Florence in the 1500s by the sixteenth-century architect, painter and sculptor with an incredible love of cooking. During the sumptuous banquets he was commissioned to produce, Bernardo Buontalenti got into the habit of serving his “fabulous iced desserts”, which were personal creations based on zabaglione, fruit and honey. This first recipe to be based on eggs won over all of Europe. And the flavor is still the emblem of Florence, where the ice cream parlors sell it as crema fiorentina or gelato Buontalenti.
We would have to wait over a century to see the gelato business begin to take off: in 1686, the Italian Francesco Procopio dei Coltelli opened the first ice cream parlor in Paris. Much later, in 1903, gelato maker Italo Marchioni, an Italian living in New York, created the first waffle cones.
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