iPhoneOgraphy – 21 Nov 2016 (Day 326/366)
Gelato (Italian plural: gelati) is the Italian word for ice cream, commonly used in English for ice cream made in an Italian style. Gelato is made with a base of milk, cream, and sugar, and flavored with fruit and nut purees and other flavorings. It is generally lower in fat, but higher in sugar, than other styles of ice cream. Gelato typically contains less air and more flavoring than other kinds of frozen desserts, giving it a density and richness that distinguishes it from other ice creams.
In Italy, by law, gelato must have at least 3.5% butterfat. In the United States, there is no legal standard of definition for gelato, as there is for ice cream, which must contain at least 10% butterfat.
The history of gelato is rife with myths and very little evidence to substantiate them. Some say it dates back to frozen desserts in Sicily, Ancient Rome and Egypt made from snow and ice brought down from mountaintops and preserved below ground. Later, in 1686 the Sicilian fisherman Francesco Procopio dei Coltelli perfected the first ice cream machine. However, the popularity of gelato among larger shares of the population only increased in the 1920s–1930s in the northern Italian city of Varese, where the first gelato cart was developed. Italy is the only country where the market share of artisanal gelato versus mass-produced gelato is over 55%. Today, more than 5,000 modern Italian ice cream parlors employ over 15,000 people, mostly Italians.