9 Delicious Gelato Facts That You Must Know This Summer

May 17, 2022
By Sarah Angela Almaden

Unsplash: Katie Smetherman

On any day, be it a hot summer day or a chilly autumn day, gelato is the perfect treat for you to eat. You can have it when you’re feeling sad after listening to sad songs. You can have it when you’re happy after petting a cute dog. You can have it after a long day’s work or when you’re just bored. Surely, a scoop or four of your favorite gelato will remind you of la dolce vita.

Quick gelato fact: Bernardo Buontalenti gets three gold stars for creating our beloved gelato. Grazie, signor Bernardo Buontalenti.

Buontalenti is a Florentine artist, stage designer, architect, military engineer, and theatrical designer. He began working for the House of Medici as a young boy and stayed there for the rest of his life. When the Spanish dignitaries arrived, the great Cosimo de Medici ordered Buontalenti to organize a banquet as a celebration. And it was at this event that Buontalenti invented a new dessert. The dessert was made with ice, salt, lemon, sugar, honey, egg, milk, and a drop of wine. The cold treat was flavored with bergamot and orange. Thus, the beginning of the glorious chapter of… dun dun dun… the great and delicious gelato!

Shoutout to the powerful Medicis of Florence for always finding ways to impress their global visitors and to Buontalenti for creating this tasty treat! Here’s a scoop of tasty fun facts about the oh-so-yummy-gelato.

1. Gelato means frozen in italian

In Italian, the word gelato comes from the term congelato which means frozen.

2. Authentic gelato is served with a paddle

The place where gelato is sold is called a gelateria. The gelati serves the gelato using a paddle because it is believed that the flat surface of the paddle softens the gelato better.

3. It contains less fat than ice cream

Gelato is more flavorful than regular ice cream, because it contains less fat. It also contains less air, resulting in a smoother, softer texture and lower butterfat content, letting you taste the flavors more quickly.

4. The first gelateria was opened in Paris

Francesco Procopio dei Coltelli, a Sicilian fisherman, built the first gelateria in Paris in 1686. He called it Café Procope and sold gelato and coffee to Voltaire and Rousseau, among others. The cafe is still open today, so pay it a visit when you're in Paris!

5. Warmer temperature makes it more yummy

Gelato is recommended to be stored at a temperature of 7º to 15º Fahrenheit (approximately -13º to -9º Celsius). And the consistency of the gelato changes when it is kept at warmer temperatures, becoming softer and more flavorful.

6. Firenze Gelato Festival

The Gelato Festival takes place in Florence during the summer, where contestants fight for the title of Gelato Champion.

7. Firenze Gelato Festival

Need a caffeine shot?

Ask for an affogato! An affogato is a scoop of gelato drowned with a hot shot of espresso.

Craving for something rich and creamy? Ask for a gelato con panna. Gelato con panna is gelato served with that fluffy whipped cream.

Interested in trying something different?

Try a caramello salato gelato – a salted caramel gelato.

8. Common Gelato Flavors

  • Stracciatella – Cream with pieces of chocolate, similar to chocolate chip
  • Cioccolata – Chocolate
  • Pistacchio – Pistachio
  • Crema – Similar to vanilla
  • Fior di latte – Means “flower of milk” but lighter than Crema
  • Amarena – Sour cherry
  • Caffè – Coffee
  • Cannella – Cinnamon
  • Nocciola – Hazelnut
  • Fragola – Strawberry
  • Cioccolato fondente – Dark chocolate
  • Fondente – Extra dark chocolate
  • Sorbeto – Sorbet

9. Another Scoop of Gelato Vocabulary

  • Piccolo – small
  • Medio – medium
  • Grande – large
  • Una coppa – a cup
  • Una coppetta – a small cup
  • Un cono – a cone
  • Vuole le panna? – Do you want cream?
  • Che gusti vuole? – What flavors would you like?
  • Quanti gusti posso prendere? – How many flavors can I have?
  • Contiene noccioline? Sono allergico – Does it contain nuts? I’m allergic
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