The search for the world's best makers of gelato has kicked off in Rome. A thousand makers in Germany are preparing for the Berlin stage of the Gelato World Tour.
The yearlong round-the-world event has been organized by the Carpigiani Gelato University in Bologna, Italy with the aim of finding exceptional recipes and flavors, and explaining the difference between freshly created gelato and manufactured ice cream. A true Italian gelato contains less fat than ice cream and less air and is served at a higher temperature and thus has a richer flavor than ice cream.
Sixteeen "artisans" went into Sunday's first round of the Gelato World Tour in Rome, with Francesco Mastroianni taking glory: His flavor Grumpy's Heart was picked by votes of the public and a professional jury ahead of the flavor Pistachio by Giuseppe Lancierini and Emanuele Montana's Orange Delight.
The university was set up by Carpigiani, makers of equipment, in Bologna to meet the growing demand for training in the fine art of making gelato. Students from all round the world have attended their courses which are held in the same building as the museum dedicated to the history of gelato, which goes back to Roman times.
Valentina Righi, the vice president of the Carpigiani Foundation, explained that the Gelato World Tour was a great opportunity to create a global network of artisans: "More and more people are looking for a way to start a new business which is creative and top quality - but not expensive," she explained. "A gelato can cost only one or two euros [$1.30-2.60] but it is an exceptional, quality food containing fine fresh ingredients. It is a good business for people to start: low on start up cost, and high on satisfaction."
Righi said that the making of gelato has seen a resurgence in recent years and Germany is a major player. It is now home to the largest number of gelato makers outside of Italy.
There is a long way to go before the title of World's Best Gelato Artisan is proclaimed in Rimini, Italy, in September of next year. Before then the Gelato World Tour will go to Spain, the United States, Dubai, China, Brazil, Australia and Germany.