The ice cream or ‘gelato’ was said to invented by and Italian architect Bernado Bernardo Buontalenti in 1565. His recipe and manufacturing techniques where passed on to Catherine de’ Medici. She took the novelty to France, where in 1686 the Sicilian fisherman Francesco Procopio dei Coltelli perfected the first ice cream machine. The first gelato cart was developed in the 1920s–1930s in the northern Italian city of Varese making gelato available to the larger population and since then it has become a national pleasure and as synonymous with Italy as pasta and pizza.
Italy is the only country where the market share of gelato artigianale (handmade) is still more popular than the industrial version. You will find a Geletaria in even the smallest of Italian villages and here in Lake Garda it would be difficult for you to walk through any of the lake side towns without seeing people enjoying a gelato. The gelataria are plentiful and even if you go to town without intending to indulge yourself, the colours will seduce your senses and before you know it you’ll be at the bancaria struggling over which one (or two…or three) of the sumptuous flavours to try.
Last Sunday I visted La Contrada Gelateria in Salo, a family run business who were only too happy to let me taste some of their gorgeous flavours and also let me see the ice cream being made.
I went for La Pirata and Mediterraneo but to was difficult to choose.
I’m sure you’ll want to try for yourself so here’s how to find them:
La Contrada Gelateria
Via Gerolamo Fantoni, 58, 25087 Salò, BS, Italy
Tel: +39 388 475 3860
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