History of Gelato
According to Charles Penati, the author of “Extra Ordinary Origins Of Everyday Things”, Gelato originated with a chinese 4000 year old recipe. Cooked rice mixed with milk and flavorings were buried in snow. This was offered as a special dessert for festive occasions.
In recent history, Gelato was perfected simultaneously in Northern and Southern Italy. In the Dolomites Mountains, Gelato was made with cream, sugar, eggs and natural flavors. It was served to tourists visiting the area during the summer time and has become a “Rich Man's Dessert”.
Over the years local Gelato artisans took their craft to Austria, Germany and France to sell to wealthy communities. In the south of Italy, Gelato was lower in fat predominantly water based, slightly higher in sugar and was called “Sorbetto”. Sorbets are not only served as desserts but are often used as palate cleansers between meal courses.