Italian Gelato

Teach Through Educational Travel: Gelato

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Just say the word Gelato and people start smiling. Gelato is Italian ice cream – ice cream with a twist. Unlike ice cream in the USA, Gelato is a softer ice cream with at least 3.5% butterfat (required by law!). Gelato in Italy has many, many flavors – some unlike any you’ve ever tasted. But once you have a taste for Gelato, you’re hooked for life.

Gelato dates back to ancient Rome and Egypt, where people made dessert from snow brought down from the mountains. It increased in popularity due to the Medici court in Florence. The first gelato cart was developed in the 1920s, and the streets of Italy have never been the same since. When you are in Italy, you can get gelato at special stores (called gelaterias) or at street carts. Everyone has their favorites!

Teach Through Educational Travel

  • My favorite food writer, David Lebovitz, shares what is gelato here and here. Read these articles and get inspired! Watch this video on how to make gelato. Have you made ice cream before? What is the difference in making ice cream vs gelato?Hungry yet?
  • My friend Penny shares her experience finding the best gelato in Rome – her tip? Find out where the locals go, by seeing who is eating what on the streets of Rome! Have you ever found the best food by going where the locals are? Share your experiences with your class!
  • Here’s a great listing of different gelato flavors (there are many more!). Peruse the flavors, and then discuss your flavor choices. Would you be bold and try new things, or would you stick with flavors you already know?
  • Want to order gelato, when you’re in Italy? Here are 24 things you need to know about gelato, as well as how to order it! Buon appetito!


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