Gelato Anyone?

gelatoThe “modern” history of gelato begins in the Renaissance with alchemist Cosimo Ruggieri, who is credited with creating the first gelato flavor at the court of the Medici family in Florence, the fior di latte. Gelato and sorbets were food for the rich because ice and salt were expensive and, therefore, only served in private residences.
The Sicilian Francesco Procopio Cutò made gelato available to all when he opened Café Le Procope in Paris in 1686 and started selling it to the public. In the 19th century, the Neapolitan doctor Filippo Baldini wrote a treatise where he stated that gelato and sorbets are good both for the body and mind. Welcome news for many of us…surely it’s still true!

The origins of gelato go back 12,000 years when, in Mesopotamia, slave runners traveled up to 100 kilometers to collect ice and snow used to cool drinks served during royal banquets and religious ceremonies. During the 11th century, the Arabs developed shrb, “sugar syrup”, a base for making fruit sorbets, medical herbs, spices and flowers. Shrb was the predecessor of sorbet, which became very popular in Sicily when it was under Arab rule; the Arabs grew in fact as many as 400 different types of flowers to flavor their sorbets.

Well, thanks to the early culinary artists….”I scream, you scream, we all scream for gelato !” ..and our demand is granted !

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