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By Alina Trabattoni

27 settembre, 15:21
A ice-cream at the Gelato World Tour event in Valencia
A ice-cream at the Gelato World Tour event in Valencia
GELATO WORLD TOUR SET TO HIT AUSTRALIA (ANSA) - Rome, September 27 - The Gelato World Tour, an international competition for artisan creators of the unique Italian treat, arrives in Australia next month after having successfully closed the Italian and Spanish legs with a total audience of 280,000 people.

The event is the brainchild of organizers from the renowned Italian Carpigiani Foundation, its Gelato University and Sigep, the international exhibitor that focuses on the Italian artisan ice-cream, confectionery and bakery sectors.

It had its first leg in Rome earlier this year. Here, it set off in front of applauding crowds at the top of the world-famous Spanish steps. Now it is off to take the gelato to the other side of the world. "Australian people know the importance of choosing and eating good, healthy food, including gelato," organizer Valentina Righi, who is the vice-chairman of the Bruto e Poerio Carpigiani Foundation, told ANSA.

"When I visited this huge country one year ago, I was astonished by the general attention to the selection of the best ingredients and by the variety of high quality restaurants and gelato shops". Gelato-machine maker Carpigiani, which supports the Gelato World Tour through its foundation, exports about 80% of its machines around the world. In recent years it has posted annual sales growth of 7% a year, reaching annual turnovers in excess of 100 million euros.

It estimates that it holds about 35% of the global ice-cream-making-machine market, and the figure rises to as much as 55% when it comes to artisan gelato-making machines.

The venture permits the company to reinvest some of its profits in promoting the tradition, life-style and the quality of Italian gelato as an engine for future growth.

The second leg of the tour saw the Italian delicacy being promoted in Valencia, Spain. The winners of each leg of the competition will be en route to compete on a global level in front of juries in five continents for the prize at the finals next year.

Gelato is Italian artisan ice-cream which dates back to ancient times. It hasn't been yet determined if it was invented by the Arab conquerors of Spain and Sicily, or whether the origins go back to ancient Romans. The history books, however, say the tradition of gathering ice from high mountains and making sorbets and other fruit-based iced delicacies dates back as far as 1200 BC. The cost of preserving ice was so high in those days that it was only the extremely wealthy that could partake in the indulgence of savouring a gelato.

After the advent of the freezer, the gelato was exported by the waves of Italians that emigrated around the world in nations such as Australia in the last century.

"Many Italians moved to Oceania in the last century, they took part in spreading the value of an endless research for ingredients: seasonal, local, high-quality", Righi explained.

"Today Australian gelato artisans invest in making the best flavours, every day developing in the laboratory traditional gelato recipes but also innovative ones, balancing knowledge, creativity, and ingredients. "They are tireless ambassadors of the artisan gelato, putting in evidence that it has less air than the industrial one, a stronger taste and less calories to burn after eating it".

The aim of the Gelato World Tour is to ensure that people around the world savour the delicacy of the artisan icy sweet that chefs create using the best ingredients in the five continents. The whirlwind tour promotes the fresh, high-quality nutritious food that represents the excellence and creativity of thousands of gelato artisans to an international audience.

"Thanks to the old and strong bond between Italy and Australia, all the Made in Italy excellence gathers together for the first time to celebrate one of the world's most renowned delicacies: the artisan gelato", the company said in an emailed statement. "The objective is to transmit to a global audience the culture of this fresh, high-quality food that represents the skill and creativity of thousands of Gelato Chefs".

Promotional events are set to take place in Melbourne October 25-27, and following this the tour will move out to Dubai in the Middle East, and to then South America, North America, and Asia before coming back to Europe.