The Sweet, Sweet History of Gelato

The world has had the pleasure of enjoying ice cream for thousands of years. Of course, it was not quite the same creamy deliciousness we know and love today, as ice cream has a humble past as a simple shaved ice dessert. But as we know, there are plenty of different forms of ice cream, each with their own rich history.

This is especially true for gelato. This Italian classic has a history all its own, and here we take a trip into the past so you can learn more!

The origins of gelato
Historians are up in the air over who exactly invented the first recipe for gelato, but many agree that Bernardo Buontalenti, a Florence native, is responsible. A confectioner for the Medici family, Buontalenti first brought his creamy creation to Caterina de Medici for a celebration for the visiting King of Spain.

Gelato goes public

The first gelato cup sold was by Sicilian Francesco Procopio Dei Coltelli. He sold gelato all across Europe and eventually settled down in Paris, where he opened a cafe in 1686, called Café Procope. It soon became a known culinary haunt across the city. This cafe became popular for serving interesting gelato cups filled with exotic coffee mixed with gelato and served in decorated egg cups.

Keeping it in the family
The art of traditional gelato making in the 17th and 18th centuries was handed down from father to son. Each family had their own recipe, and many brought their creations with them to America when they immigrated. The first record of this sweet dish in the states was in the 1700s when Giovanni Basiolo opened up an ice cream shop in New York City. The first flavors on Basiolo's menu were cinnamon, coffee, chocolate, and pistachio.

Ice cream vs. Gelato
When gelato first came to the market, it was highly unusual because of its consistency. Gelato contains between 3%-8% milkfat and 25%-30% air, compared to ice cream, which has up to 50% air. Gelato is also only served in scoops and doesn't come in soft serve.

So with its rich, international history in mind, don't you just feel like grabbing some gelato cups to taste for yourself?
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About the Author: Tim Porter

Tim is the CEO and people builder of In his free time, he enjoys being with his family, collecting watches, and Classic Mini Coopers.


Our purpose at Frozen Dessert Supplies is "Build People and Deliver Joy." That means that everything we do, from manufacturing to packaging to delivery, is to build you and your business and deliver joy to you. We also strive to build our employees and help them to be better people.

Our paper ice cream cups are made withFDA approved food-safe papercoated in a thin layer ofPE (Polyethylene). Our clear plastic cups, banana split boats, and plastic dome lids are made fromPET (Polyethylene Terephthalate). Our plastic spoons and straws are made fromPP (Polypropylene). Our eco-friendly ice cream cups are made fromFDA approved food-safe papercoated in a thin layer ofPLA (Polylactic Acid). PLA is plastic made from corn starch. Our eco-friendly spoons are also made from PLA. Our eco-friendly wooden spoons are made from FDA approvedsmooth birch wood.