When in Rome, one must get gelato! There, the quintessential gelato shop is the Old Bridge. Here, for an authentic gelato experience in Chicago, the Gelato Festival scoops out the best frozen sweets. According to traditions, in 1559, Bernardo Buontalenti created a frozen dessert made of milk, honey and eggs for an extravagant dinner in honor of a visiting king from Spain. Since then, the evolution of the artisan gelato has been touted and revitalized over the last 10 years as this creamy alternative to ice cream contains fewer calories and less fat, creating a lighter, richer texture being stored in lower temperatures to preserve the richness in flavor. The Gelato Festival aims to share the culture of the artisan Italian gelato throughout the US. Hailing from Florence, the Gelato Festival showcases the cream of the crop in gelato artistry as they compete with their creations of a one-time flavor designed solely for the event.
Chicago’s favorite Italian neighborhood celebrated the half of August summer holiday this past weekend on August 17th and 18th, with the Littly Italy Festa and welcomed the perfect dolce Italian addition, the Gelato Festival. For the past three years, the Gelato Festival has been gaining notoriety across America with its mission to share its love for the fresh, frozen Italian dessert. The Gelato Festival includes the world’s largest gelato mobile, boasting production of over two tons of gelato, full of fresh PreGel ingredients, made with Carpigiani machines and proudly displayed in ISA custom cabinets.
Carpigiani Gelato University instructor, Chef Baron Gottsacker demonstrated his finesse in whipping up a delectable Raspberry Prosecco Thyme sorbet with the easy to use Carpigiani Freeze & Go machine during a press conference held on August 15th on Taylor street. The recipe calls for 100 grams of raspberries, 100 grams of prosecco, 100 grams of sugar and a pinch of thyme thrown into the Carpigiani machine for five minutes and viola! Tart, smooth, fresh fruit lightness delivered straight to your tastebuds in this must taste summer sorbet. Chef Gottsacker described several courses that the University offers, including an immersive Bologna experience as this Italian school is “where the world revolves around gelato and sorbet” and the Vernon Hills campus pumps out about ten to twenty different pans of gelato daily “where anyone can come and learn”.
With activities like a gelato eating contest, Stack it High by PreGel where gelato chefs and gelato guests compete for 30 seconds to stack as many scoops, or the ISA speed cup where whoever makes as many of the perfect gelato cups in 30 seconds wins, gelato and fun go hand in hand. The winners of ‘The Best Gelato in Chicago’ were announced today with first place going to:
Pistachio Sicilia by Angelo Lollino of Massa Café Italiano & Vero Gelato
Elmwood Park, IL
Fragola e Ment a Sorbetto by Michael E. Meranda of Gelato d’Oro
Little Red by Savannah G. Lee
Savannah’s Gelato Kitchen
San Francisco, CA
Upcoming Gelato Festival America 2019 visits:
September 7-8 in Washington, D.C.
City Market at O
800 P Street Northwest, Washington, DC 20001
September 28-29 in West Hollywood
Pacific Design Center
8687 Melrose Avenue, West Hollywood, CA 90069
For more information check out:
Photos courtesy of the Gelato Festival