The History of Gelato

gelatoGelato (jell·ah·toe, plural: gelati) first appeared in ancient Rome and Egypt and was made from the snow they brought down from the mountain tops. Though much advancement in frozen treat technology in Italy took place in the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries, ice cream and gelato remained mostly enjoyed by the upper classes at fancy banquets. This trend continued until the early to mid-twentieth century where more of Italy’s general population began to enjoy these delectable deserts. Italy now has strict regulations for the making of Gelato including a statute stating that Gelato must be 3.5% butterfat (this is actually less than the average amount of butterfat in ice cream in the United States which is 14%).

Traditionally, gelato is first prepared with a hot process, heating it to about 180°F-190°F. This is to pasteurize the gelato mixture. The mixture then ages for several hours and, through internal processes, the gelato becomes hydrated, decreasing the size of the ice crystals making it smoother. Air is also added to the mixture. The amount of air that is in gelato is typically lower than that of ice cream