In my recent article for Zester Daily, I wrote about the gelato explosion. One thing is for sure, gelato is on the move from its Italian home base as more and more entrepreneurs set up shop all over the world using Italy’s state-of-the-art equipment, designed for small-batch, artisan production.
Gelato entries at the Gelato World Tour Gran Finale, Rimini, 2014. | Photo: Dino Buffagni, Gelato World Tour
Following up on my last post about Rimini, here’s the scoop about why I was in that famous beach resort last month. No, it wasn’t to sunbathe or take in the nightclubs. It was to join the World Gelato Tour which, after circling the globe and picking finalists along the way—including two American gelato makers, Matthew Lee from Austin and Stefano Versace from Miami—the contestants had a “cook-off” to vie for the World Cup. Here are the stars, the winners, the flavors, and the backdrops—and a photo gallery of the three sweet days I spent in Fellini’s native town to join the jury in discerning who should win the title.
Gelato Village in Fellini Park, Rimini. | Photo: Dino Buffagni, Gelato World Tour
A tour of Carpigiani HQ outside of Bologna took in their Gelato University, and the Gelato Museum…
Gelato University classroom. | Photo: Julia della Croce
Australian jurors inspecting student work at the Gelato University lab. | Photo: Julia della Croce
Gelato cart c. early 20th century. Gelato Museum. | Photo: Julia della Croce
MEC3, a Willie Wonka-like factory that makes the base ingredients used for making gelato and frozen desserts.
MEC3, Rimini. | Photo: Gelato World Tour
Matthew Lee, from Téo, Austin. | Photo: Dino Buffagni, Gelato World Tour
Stefano Versace of Versace Gelateria, Miami. | Photo: Dino Buffagni, Gelato World Tour
James Coleridge of Bella Gelateria, Vancouver, BC, Canada. | Photo: Dino Buffagni, Gelato World Tour
Ahmed Abdulati, of Dolci Desideri, Bahrain. | Photo: Dino Buffagni, Gelato World Tour
A contestant taking a break in Fellini Park. | Photo: Dino Buffagni, Gelato World Tour
All the finalists, from around the world. | Photo: Dino Buffagni, Gelato World Tour
Hazelnut’s Heart, from Gelateria Fiore, Suzzara, Italy. | Photo: Dino Buffagni, Gelato World Tour
Sóller Orange Sorbet with Fresh Mint and Cardamon, from Iceberg, Spain.| Dino Buffagni, Gelato World Tour
Texas Pecan Pie gelato, from Téo, Austin, TX. Photo: Dino Buffagni, Gelato World Tour
Sicilian Pistachio Gelato, from Il Cantagalli, Lamezia Terme, Italy. | Photo| Dino Buffagni, Gelato World Tour
Bahrani Rose gelato, from Dolci Desideri, Bahrain. | Photo: Dino Buffagni, Gelato World Tour
Drowned Almond Gelato, from Cow & the Moon, Sydney, Australia. | Photo: Dino Buffagni, Gelato World Tour
To find out who won and the ingredients in the winning flavors, continue reading here. Thanks to the Italian Trade Commission and the many dedicated organizers of Gelato World Tour Rimini for making this trip possible. Special thanks to Valentina Righi, Communication and Public Relations Manager for the Carpigiani Group, for enlightening me about the nutritional value of eating gelato for lunch at least three times a week!
Valentina Righi having lunch at the Carpigiani Gelato University lab. That plate she’s eating from is a newly designed four-compartment gelato palette that accommodates two flavors and three toppings. Designed by the ever forward-thinking Carpigiani folk. | Photo: Julia della Croce
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OMG do I want that gelato made with roses! It looks amazing! The winner sounds excellent too…OK…what’s the secret nutritional info…need to have this for our next visit to Italy! Thanks Julia for being there to test as I know it’s incredibly hard work!!!
You’re right, Phyllis, the rose petal gelato was very delicate. I really liked it. The white puffs on the top were spun sugar. Very Middle Eastern in its flavors. I admit, it was one of my more giddy assignments.
Here’s my idea: mac and cheese gelato.
I’ll bet someone’s done it. I saw potato gnocchi gelato in Rimini. It was sweet, and oddly enough, it was good!
Mac & cheese gelato! That sounds terrible!
Oh, but this must have been fun. I bet that hazelnut one was out of this world. I would so enjoy an event like this. You live the life, amica! I grew up with the triumvirate of chocolate, strawberry, and vanilla, but now, in my dotage I have branched out. Way out. One of my favorites is gelato made with olive oil. Pianogrillo makes a particularly tasty gelato with a wonderful texture,weight and mouthfeel, especially with the addition of basil-infused milk. I have also had tremendous success using Abruzzese agrumato oils. The possibilities are just endless. Last night it was maple-walnut gelato served with an apple crostata – hardly traditional Italian, but it sure was good.
Most of the entries were hardly traditional. In Bologna, following the Rimini contest, I went to a restaurant that locals told me was a good bet for cucina tipica. The waiter brought us bruschetta gelato on the house as a starter. It was a savory, garlic-infused gelato in a tomato coulis, the top sprinkled with bruschetta crumbs. Honestly, I wouldn’t go out of my way for it! Your table is always a feast, from the sounds of it. I hope we meet up one of these days, dear Adri!