There is no definite answer on who invented ice cream. Some other historians believe that it was a man by the name of Bernardo Buotalenti, a local man from Florence, Italy. Buontalenti was said to introduce his creation to Catherina dei Medici, who then brought it over to Paris. Another important figure to the creation and spreading of gelato was a man from Sicily. Francesco Procopio dei Coltelli was very influential in opening the first public gelato stand. However, at this time it was considered to be more like Italian ice or sorbet because there was no milk or cream involved in making this ice cream. It was said that even the roman empires ate the newly found ice cream. Even though there is not a distinct country or person who invented gelato, Italy has played a very important role of bringing it over to Europe and also perfecting it.
Before the perfection of gelato, there were many sweets and fruit juices that were invented. It would take many centuries before there would be any addition of milk or cream added to these deserts. With every country catching on to this phenomenon, everyone was making their own type of gelato. In the United States it would be considered Ice Cream while in Italy and most of Europe it is considered gelato.
Ice Cream and gelato are pretty similar to each other. However, there are a few major difference is the production of each. Gelato does not contain as much air as ice cream does. This allows for a more intense flavor in gelato. If the gelato is made natural ingredients, there are usually less calories in it compared to ice cream. When more natural ingredients are used, less butterfat is used and it allows for higher quality gelato. Another difference is that gelato is used with milk, usually skim milk as opposed to cream, which gives gelato a lower milk fat content. With the use of less milk, the gelato’s flavor is more vivid and striking.
In Italy, gelato is served in pastry shops and also places that are called gelaterie. These are places of business that are dedicated to making the highest quality and freshest made gelato. When going to a gelaterie they usually serve their gelato in form of coupes or coppe and served in a cone or cup. I have noticed that most cities in Italy are full of gelato shops. It is always hard to pick the best one.
Today gelato is still considered a luxury item. However, throughout the past century food manufactures have made it easier for people to enjoy a quick dessert, but it just isn’t the same. Ice cream has been made easily accessible to everyone by the invention of popsicles and other package ice cream goodies that can be found at the local grocery store. Gelato still uses the highest quality ingredients and rarely any preservatives. Italians still take their gelato making seriously and many businesses have had their traditions and recipes passed down from generation to generation. The ‘60s were a very particular time when many gelato makers were emigrating throughout Europe and other countries. This allowed them to take their recipes throughout Europe and the world.