Gelateria: the word itself tastes delicious in your mouth. Then your eyes feast upon the selection of whipped, creamy peaks of decadence, frosted in tasty nuggets of indulgent sprinkles. Gelato is heaven on a stick… or a waffle cone or dixie cup and as you take a leisurely stroll down Lygon Street, you couldn’t ask for better company.
Gelato’s Juicy History
Gelato, Italian for ice cream and from the Latin word gelatus (frost), was refined as the popular frozen dessert by the Italians. However, it does have colourful origins not unlike the rainbow of flavours it now offers. This is a quick (vanilla) history.
Archeological findings prove that Egyptian Pharaohs crushed ice and flavoured it with fruit juice.3000 BC
The Chinese combined rice, milk and spices, before packing it in snow for a sweet treat.200 BC
Ancient ruins of Pompeii revealed the Romans also served a variation of gelato.79 AD
Venetian explorer, Marco Polo travelled China’s Silk Road between 1271-1295, witnessing a fruit juice and frozen milk creation. Apparently he took this idea home to Italy.Late 13th Century
During the Middle Ages, The Moors, (Muslim inhabitants of Sicily and Malta) habitually mixed fruit juice and crushed ice together. The Sicilians refined the recipe, producing Italian sorbetto.Mid 16th Century
Caterina de’ Medici, an Italian noblewoman, became wife of Henry II, King of France. She was so besotted with the ice dessert made with fruits and sugar, by Cosimo Rugerri (a poultry farmer), she insisted he travel with her to France so her dinner guests could also enjoy the frozen deliciousness.Mid 16th Century
Another school of thought claims Florence theatre designer and architect, Bernardo Buontalenti, invented gelato around 1565. His cold cream was made with ice, lemon, bergamot orange, sugar, egg, honey, milk and wine, with salt to lower the temperature. Clearly, talent by name and talent by nature.Mid 16th Century
21st Century Artisan Gelato
Gelato differs from ice cream as it’s made with more milk and less cream. Churned at a much slower, gentler pace, it’s less aerated resulting in richer tastes. Quality gelaterias churn new batches every morning using only the highest quality ingredients to produce their innovative and indulgent flavours. Served approximately eight degrees warmer than ice cream, the temperature doesn’t numb your tongue, allowing the nuanced flavours to burst in your mouth.
Traditional Italian flavours such a bacio, pistachio, biscotto della nonna, panna cotta and tiramisu are classics for a reason, yet modern gelato artisans push tastebud boundaries with quirky new flavours such a matcha tea, wasabi, frosted cinnamon scroll or peanut butter cup.
Lygon Street is dripping with some of the finest authentic gelato you can savour, so get the scoop on these scrumptious Lygon Street gelato bars.
Pidapipo: “Eating gelato in Italy is just something that you do no matter what the season.”
Gelobar: “Our homemade Gelato has always been our speciality, but our patisserie and restaurant reassure that a little piece of Italy is right here in Melbourne.”
Zero Gradi: “Churning out Traditional Artisan Italian Gelato daily, Zero Gradi is the latest addition to the Gradi group. Vegan options also available.”
Lavezzi: “OVER 150 YEARS IN GELATO. Born in Italy. Made in Melbourne. 100% natural and made from scratch; using only the highest quality ingredients from around the world.”
IL Dolce Freddo review: “The Very Best In Lygon St absolutely delicious ice cream and gelato. Always our favourite when we go a must to finish off our lunch/dinner.”
Brunetti: “Brunetti began trading in 1985 as an authentic Italian Pasticerria located in Carlton. Since then, the business has grown into one of Melbourne’s iconic cafes, supplying local and interstate customers with the finest coffee, traditional cakes, gelati, and savoury selections.”
Casa del Gelato: “We import the best and freshest ingredients from all around the world and, as artisan gelato is best served fresh, new batches of gelato are made each morning. Gorgeous, fresh and flavoursome, the gelato is ready to serve to customers.”
Gelatissimo: “Here at Gelatissimo, we believe life should be celebrated everyday with the people that you care about. From the little moments to big milestones, we want to be there with you, because life tastes better with gelato!”
Beku Gelato: For amazing Southeast Asian and Indonesian style gelato.