Italian ice cream or gelato is loved around the world as being one of the best types of frozen desserts.
Made with milk, cream and sugar and flavoured with fruit, flavourings and nut purees a gelato contains less air and more flavour than ice cream which makes it feel richer and creamier in taste and density. And, just like the sprinkles on top, the Italians somehow imbue their delightful indulgences with typical stylish flair and panache.
Some say its origins date back to frozen desserts in Sicily, ancient Rome and Egypt made from snow and ice brought down from mountaintops and preserved below ground. Others say that Marco Polo brought ice cream back to Italy from his adventures in China. Evidence suggests that China had developed the earliest ice-cream making practices by adding rock salt to the mixture to increase its hardness.
By 1686 the Sicilian café owner Francesco Procopio dei Coltelli had perfected the first ice cream machine to make iced beverages using salt to lower its temperature and keep cooler longer. He introduced the Italian gelato at his cafe and was one of the first to sell directly to the public.
However, it wasn’t until the first gelato carts were developed in the northern Italian city of Varese in the 1920s and 30s that larger shares of the population began to develop its amore for gelato.
Hand carts became vans, delightful Italian tenors plying their icy wares became tinkling clarion calls and cafes became parlours.
Then Ben met Jerry but that’s another story all together…
Here at Doria, we like to take the traditional Italian and give it a little twist of our own so why not try this cheeky little easy Amaretti ice cream number. It’s a cream and custard combo with crushed Amaretti that is bound to impress friends or family at the next barbecue with your ‘gelato’ flair.
Or try these cute strawberry Greek yoghurt popsicles made with our Ratafias (click here for the recipe) for the kids – perfect for running around the garden whilst simultaneously kicking a ball or climbing a tree.
Either way, it will be love at first lick!