It’s been some time since we’ve experienced the thrill of international travel but even still, it doesn’t take much for mention of Italy to conjure images of tiny alleyways, luxury cars, football jerseys adorned by crowds in the evenings, and streets after street filled with all manner of shops and vendors selling delectable foods. The food of Italy is so renowned, you basically haven’t tasted pasta unless you’ve had Italian pasta. And as for gelato, nothing compares to the creaminess that comes out of those Italian vendors.
If you haven’t yet been to Italy and such snobbery concerning food sees you roll your eyes, know that your friend still waxing lyrical about his travels in Europe isn’t exaggerating. So important is the gelato to Italy’s people that in the coming months, Italy will seek to impose new legislation to regulate the quality of gelato, fining vendors a hefty $15,000 for anything that doesn’t quite come up to scratch.
As reported by the Telegraph, the legislation is seeking to eradicate “cheapskate vendors posing as gelato artisans who have been known to sell tubs which contain more air than ice cream.” If only such a thing could extend to chip manufacturers and those bags that basically serve as air pockets for some five or six crisps. By capping the air content to 30 per cent, vendors who are caught pumping their products for more texture will have to answer to the law. Honestly, we couldn’t think of anything more shameful.
The proposed legislation will also outlaw any use of alternative ingredients instead of fresh produce, so things like artificial colouring, artificial flavourings and hydrogenated fats could see certain vendors end up in hot water. Italians only want the best and when it comes to gelato that means nothing but milk, eggs, sugar and fresh fruit.
As Senator Riccardo Nencini, a key proponent of the gelato bill, explains: “Italian gelato is one of the gastronomic symbols of our country, along with pasta and pizza. But our laws do not preserve artisanal ice cream and producers who make it.”
As a food-loving public, we’re definitely onboard with the proposal and given that the Italian ice cream sector is valued at approximately $1.5 billion, it makes sense that Italy would do all it can to preserve one of it’s strongest brands internationally.