Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Will the creator of gelato please stand up?

Whilst staring musingly into the gelato case during my eight hour shift at 13th street Capogiro last sunday, I thought dramatically to myself, "Why are we all here on this earth, and from which heaven did gelato descend to make life on this earth more bearable?!" At this point in my shift, the triple shot of espresso had taken hold and my mind began racing with question upon question about where gelato really came from.  I resolved to pursue these questions after my shift was over with the help of a grande blackberry and mango sorbetto by my side.  To google we went.

Now Capogiro is run as a traditional italian bar (a bar in italy is not necessarily a place to buy alcohol and get drunk, it's more of a cafe) but I discovered that the Italians were not the only ones in history to create healthy frozen treats.  In Egypt, ice served with fruit juice was presented to honored guests by the Pharoahs.  One of the main problems, with early gelato concoctions was that snow had to be available because in the early ages the secret of making ice was mother nature's alone.  Many of the early gelato crafters had to migrate from season to season in order to find the snow that made their craft possible. This made gelato a pleasure to only be enjoyed by the rich.

The rich were all obsessed with this frozen delicacy.  Italy always seemed to have the best of the frozen treats.  FLorence born Caterina de' Medici married Henry II of France and brought Giuseppe Ruggeri, a sorbetto maker, with her to challenge the cooks of France.  Ruggeri's treat was so good that all of the french cooks hated him and would even violently attack him. There are many reports of contests between regions and countries to make the best frozen treats.

As time went on and technology improved, people began improvising incredible ways to make frozen treats.  For example, during the second world war, pilots positioned ingredients in the plane in such a way that the vibration from the plane and the freezing air would automaitcally make ice cream.  Luckily, we here at Capogiro don't have to resort to planes to make our gelato.  The founders of the company have traveled the world to hone their methods to create what could be the greatest gelato to ever exist!! 

For a more comprehensive and satisfying answer to the history of gelato, check out my sources!!



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