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Gelato World Tour gets off to delicious start in Rome

'Created with unforgettable passion, maniacal care'

08 May, 18:03
Gelato World Tour gets off to delicious start in Rome (By Alina Trabattoni) (ANSA) - Rome, May 8 - This weekend saw the launch of the Gelato World Tour, an international competition that hosted 16 artisans of the unique Italian icy treat in Rome, placing the winners en route to compete on a global level in front of juries in five continents for the top prize at its finals next year.

The event, the brainchild of organizers from the renowned Italian Carpigiani Gelato University and Sigep, the international exhibitor that focuses on Italian craft gelato, confectionery and bakery sectors, started its first leg in Rome in front of applauding crowds on Saturday, following a glamorous gala evening at the top of the world-famous Spanish Steps.

Gelato is Italian artisan ice-cream which dates back to before the birth of Christ. It has yet to be determined if it was invented by Arab conquerors of Spain and Sicily, or whether the origins go back to ancient Rome. History books however outline the tradition of gathering ice from high mountains and making sorbets and other fruit-based ice delicacies dating back as far as 1200 B.C.

The cost of preserving ice was so high in those days it was only the extremely wealthy that could partake in the indulgence.

After the advent of the freezer, the gelato was exported by waves of Italians who emigrated around the world in the last century, though today many still confuse the artisan product of 'gelato' with its more industrial cousin the 'icecream'.

"The aim of the Gelato World Tour is to bring together thousands of people from around the world to savor the delicacy, the consciousness and the feeling of an artisan food, created with the best ingredients in the five continents, an unforgettable passion and maniacal care," organizer Valentina Righi told ANSA. "I hope that everywhere in the world people can understand the difference between gelato and icecream and that the people who are changing their lives opening gelato parlors abroad could definitely realize their dreams, helping their customers understand the value of the food they produce".

2006-world Gelato Cup champion Sergio Colalucci concurs. "Gelato is unique and so versatile the horizon is limitless," Colalucci, who teaches a course at the Gelato University and helps run a family business that has produced gelato for the past 40 years, told ANSA. "Things get even more interesting when you start looking at high gastronomy. You can delight in tastes like artichoke sherbert. One of my recent creations include gelato of pesto and the highly sought-after Italian Colonnata lard", he said, adding that these were particularly enticing on a warm bruschetta.

Colalucci is a member of the jury for the Rome leg of the competition. The Gelato World Tour will go to eight cities around the globe over the next year: Rome; Valencia; Chicago; Dubai; Shanghai; Sao Paulo; Sydney; and Berlin. "We would like to make this a an event every two years, perhaps keeping some of the cities and changing other ones," said Andrea Cocchi, the director-general of the Carpigiani Group, a gelato machinery company that manages the Gelato University. "The association gelato has with Italy is positive and of value, and very rarely does someone taste gelato and say they don't like it".