2° half of 1900: the arrival of ice cream in Italy and the difficult cohabitation with artisanal gelato

Artisanal gelato, ice cream and mass media

In 1951, in Milan, in conjunction with the production and launch, in Italy, of industrial ice cream, an unprecedented attack against artisanal gelato makers was launched from the most influential newspapers: it was about the hygienic unreliability of artisanal gelato. The Lombard gelato makers, guided by Angelo Grasso, reunited and in 1953 formed the Committee for the defense of Italian gelato, asking and obtaining aid from the health authorities in Milan. In 1954 they began their hygienic training courses and the manufacturers of machinery, tools, semifinished products for artisanal gelato joined the gelato makers to create a virtuous chain.


The National Committee for the Defense and Diffusion of Artisanal Gelato

The union of gelato makers and new technologies expressed by the representatives of industrial enterprises, made possible that the artisanal gelato shops would not be swept away by the industry in the Fifties, but also that the artisanal product could keep up the pace with the industrial one. A process of birth and growth of new gelato shops began, both in Italy and abroad, a process of professional training and alliance of the entire sector: it’s the beginning of a new era. In 1964, the first dedicated magazine was born and the unitary process is formalized with the establishment of a combative National Committee for the Defense and Diffusion of Artisanal Gelato, chaired by Angelo Grasso, composed of gelato makers, Acomag (Manufactures of Gelato Machines), Aiipa (Food industries). In 1965 Assoglace was founded – the European association of artisanal gelato makers, which sees the participation of Italy, France, Germany, Holland, Luxembourg, Belgium. The artisanal laboratories are, in a short time, unrecognizable: batch freezers, pasteurizers, refrigerating displays had replaced salt solutions and gas stoves and guaranteed the healthiness of the mixtures. These are just some of the fruits coming from the respectful union of artisans and new technologies expressed by the best Italian industries.