1600: the gelato leaves the Palace and becomes “democratic”

The first gelato recipes sung by poets and literates

Francesco Redi from Arezzo, one of the most famous people of the Florence of XVII century, a poet, literate, philosopher, is member of the Accademia della Crusca and physician at the service of Cosimo III de Medici. In the “Arianna Inferma”, his unfinished work dating back at 1687, one of the first descriptions of the sorbet can be found, together with its effects on a “young kid”.


The sorbets of the Monks

The conservation and purchase of snow and ice by many European monasteries, particularly in southern Europe, is evidenced by the existence of snow wells built in the same areas and (usually) by archival sources. Example: the Monastery of San Pietro in Gubbio, very frequented by nobles coming from everywhere. The sorbet is extremely liked by the guests and “all the ingredients that are needed to make it” end up “giving it the award of exclusive food for a certain social status”.


A Sicilian genius sells sorbets to Parisian intellectuals

The sorbet remained a chimera until it stayed in the Palaces or the monasteries, for the high social statuses. However, thanks to the Sicilian Francesco Procopio Cutò, who left Palermo for Paris, sorbets leave the Palaces and become “democratic”.

Francesco, who from now on will change his name to François Procope des Couteaux, takes with him the art of making sorbets and founds, in 1686, Le Procope, in Rue de l’Ancienne Comédie. The bar was absolutely cutting-edge both in terms of conception and luxury and became a meeting place for intellectuals and artists, where Francesco offers sorbets that will open the way for similar businesses. Le Procope still exists, always in Rue de l’Ancienne Comédie, 13.


The first recipes of chocolate sorbets are Italian

Antonio Latini, born in the Marche region, collects thoughts, experiences and culinary knowledge of the time in his famous work “Scalco alla Moderna”, published in Naples in 1692. A true innovator in terms of cooking, Latini follows a tendency that will only triumph in the second half of the Eighteenth century: the overcoming of the use of Oriental spices and their substitution with officinal herbs. In the chapter “Di varie sorti di sorbette e acque agghiacciate” we can find some precious recipes using chocolate. Note: Latini transforms “sorbetti” in “sorbette”.