GELATO, the magic word for Italian ice cream

ice creamIt's almost summer time, so it's time to talk about gelato!! Gelato is the Italian word for "ice cream" and it comes from the Latin "gelatus" meaning 'frozen'. In American English the word gelato refers to ice cream made in a traditional Italian style. While in the US there is no standard definition for icecream, in Italy, by statute gelato must contain at least a 3.5% of butterfat. The other main ingredients include milk, cream, and sugar. To these basic ingredients then the flavoring such as chocolate, nut or fruit purees is added. The history of ice cream dates back to ancient times, when the Egyptians and the Romans used to make frozen desserts using snow and ice. The arabs created a sugar syrup called shrb and in Palermo they used to grow hundreds of different types of flowers to flavor their sorbets.

Bernardo Buontalenti is the person credited for the invention of the egg cream gelato in 1565, but it was Francesco Redi and Lorenzo Magalotti who made it famous by singing its praise. It wasn't until the 20th century that Italians invented the cone and that made it a lot easier to sell gelato on the streets.

But did you know that in Italy there is a museum completely dedicated to ice cream? Inaugurated in September 2012, the museum is located in Anzola Emilia in the province of Bologna. The museum highlights three main themes regarding gelato: the evolution of gelato over time, the history of production technology, and the places and ways it is consumed. Visitors can see original machines, tools, accessories, and can watch multimedia presentations or videos. The museum even organizes training labs to teach kids and young adults gelato science and culture. The gelato museum Carpigiani is open Tuesday through Saturday from 9am to 6pm. Labs and guided tours of the museum must be booked in advance, but all you have to do is call Mydas Travel to help you plan your Italian vacation!