There are so many things to keep in mind when you’re hunting down a scoop of high-quality gelato in Italy, you’d be forgiven for just giving up and choosing whichever gelateria is closest to you. But in addition to my tips on finding good Italian gelato, some folks in Florence are trying to make it even easier on you by creating the “Real Homemade Gelato” designation.
Think of this “Real Homemade Gelato” designation, which is “vero gelato artiginale” in Italian, as you might think of a verification that a certain cheese is really parmigiano reggiano and not a cheap fake, or that the balsamic vinegar you just bought is actually from Modena and has actually received the seal of approval from the balsamic board. It’s meant to demonstrate that what you’re getting is the real thing, authentically Italian, and verifiably good.
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This new gelato designation will be given to gelaterie which adhere to the rules laid out by the Florence-based group which came up with the idea. The rules include using quality ingredients only (preferably locally grown or purchased) which are free of anything that’s been genetically-modified as well as providing information on the gelato and how it’s made. Some of the rules are a bit more esoteric, like the one that calls for “the right balance between tradition and technological innovation” – I just hope that’s spelled out a bit more clearly in the rules which are presented to the gelato makers.
One assumes that the “Real Homemade Gelato” brand will be proudly displayed in the windows of the gelaterie which get the designation, so be on the lookout for the “vero gelato artiginale” label – especially throughout Tuscany – when you’re in the mood for gelato in Italy.