Italian gelato: an industry worth $1.6bn a yearAugust 10, 2017
Whoever tasted the famous Italian gelato knows there's more than a reason if this typical food is celebrated worldwide and considered as the best on the planet. Therefore it shouldn't be surprising to notice that, even though Italy's economy is still struggling , the ice cream industry still sees the Belpaese the top producer in Europe, with a business worth $1.6bn a year.
Last year, Italian ice cream whippers produced about 600-million litres of gelato: the 19% of the total Europeam production.
In Italy, gelato is still serious business: there are over 19.000 ice cream parlors and the industry is ever growing (in Milan only, it grew 4.5% in 2016) and almost 69.000 people are employed in the "gelato" business across Italy.
Gelato, always a summer favourite in hundreds of different, mouthwatering flavors, has been an even bigger seller on the streets of Italian cities in recent weeks, as locals and the traditional hordes of tourists seeked relief from a scorching heat wave, dubbed Lucifer.
Lucifer of not, each Italian consumes an average of more than 100 scoops of ice cream every year, topping every record in Europe, and preferring mainly the production on-site at ice cream parlors: yet, this local business has created a fame for itself all over the world thanks to the high level of the products. Foreign tourists agree, explaining that they can easily spot the difference between an ice cream and an Italian gelato: "Italian ice cream is creamier and has more flavor", is usually the declaration.
Italy's love with gelato is ancient: according to historical accounts, Caterina De’ Medici is generally credited with turning the recipe into a popular dessert during the Florentine Renaissance.