Frozen iced desserts are considered the oldest and most popular dessert in the world, having their origins traced back to biblical times when Isaac offered his father Abraham goat’s milk mixed with snow. Gelato as we know it, has its origins, however, in the 1600’s with an Italian chef, Procopio de Coltelli, son of a Sicilian fisherman, who moved to France to produce gelato and frozen desserts for the French aristocracy, including the Court of Louis XIV’s. His bottega, Café Procope, still exists today.
Modern “Gelato”, which means “frozen” in Italian, is a wholesome frozen dessert which has recently become a craze in the United States. Given the high quality of its ingredients and difficulty accessing them, Gelato, when produced properly and according to traditional production methods, can be considered a gourmet food. In fact, the greatest Gelatiere (gelato masters) of Italy attend specialized schools and courses to learn the art of frozen dessert making.