Few dairy foods are merchandised as beautifully as gelato, said Jim Carper, editor-in-chief, in his coverage of Florida-based G.S. Gelato from Dairy Foods’ May article, G.S. Gelato is living the dolce vita. Think about it. Milk is sold in a bottle, yogurt in a cup. Admittedly, you can find grace in the swirls of a soft-serve ice cream cone, but the presentation that best exemplifies the phrase “we eat with our eyes” belongs to that found in a gelateria.

A gelateria is no run-of-the-mill scoop shop with 3-gallon cardboard cartons nestled in the bottom of an ice cream freezer. Far from it. Carper visited one of the Florida shops supplied by G.S. Gelato earlier this year. He observed shallow 2.5-liter pans in a dipping cabinet that are tilted at an angle toward the shopper. In each pan, the ice cream has been mounded into peaks and adorned with a fresh strawberry, a biscotti or a drizzle of caramel. As Carper put it, who can resist?

Italians appreciate good quality food and its artful presentation, and Simona Faroni, one of the founders of G.S. Gelato, said she wanted to bring the passion for great food to the United States. So she and her husband did just that by making authentic Italian gelato with fresh, quality ingredients. The "G" is Guido Tremolini and “S” is Simona Faroni.

G.S. Gelato positions its gelato against super-premium ice cream. The density of the gelato (made with milk and some cream) gives it the same creamy mouthfeel as ice cream. The company is known for making flavors from scratch despite the vast number of recipes in its library.

Here are some more fun facts about gelato as reported in our May article:

  • Gelato consumers tend to have higher incomes, according to Chicago-based Mintel, probably because of gelato’s positioning as a super-premium treat and higher price point.
  • Gelato seems more receptive to unconventional flavors than ice cream. “You can take risks in gelato that you won’t with ice cream,” said Cynthia Harrison, the director of business development for G.S. Gelato. She cited fig ripple as one example. Other flavors include caramel with sea salt, biscotti, blood orange and pumpkin.

Some of our favorite new gelato products released this year include:

Graeter’s introduces an authentic Italian gelato; Ciao Bella adds flavors

Graeter’s ice cream, Cincinnati, Ohio, introduced its own authentic Italian gelato line earlier this year. The company's signature French Pot process that makes its ice cream so dense and creamy was actually based on Italian gelato machines, making it an easy transition to create gelato. Using an old-world freezing process, Graeter’s creates its hand-crafted gelato using specially made truffles from a family-owned candy confectioner in Pennsylvania. The line is available in these flavors: caramel truffle, hazelnut truffle, vanilla with milk chocolate truffles and dark chocolate truffle.

New York-based Ciao Bella, maker of premium, artisan gelato and sorbetto, added 11 new flavors to its line and rolled out new packaging last spring. The new flavors in gelato are:

  •     Bourbon Caramel Chocolate
  •     South American Dark Chocolate
  •     Madagascar Vanilla
  •     Alba Hazelnut Caffé

The new sorbetto varieties are:

  •     Bartlett Pear Hibiscus
  •     White Peach Sangria
  •     Wild Italian Strawberry Limonata

The gelato/sorbetto is sold in 14-ounce containers or as single-serve novelties for a suggested retail price of $4.99.

Unilever enters the gelato category with Gelato Indulgence from Breyer’s

Englewood Cliffs, N.J.-based Unilever's Breyers entered the gelato category in January with its new Gelato Indulgence line. It's packaged in clear 28.5-ounce tubs to show off the gelato, sauce and toppings. The new frozen dessert comes in four flavors: vanilla caramel, raspberry cheesecake, tiramisu and triple chocolate...read more about this gelato product here

Honeysuckle’s gelato delivers the flavors of the South

Introduced at the beginning of the year, this southern-inspired gelato from Honeysuckle combines the rich and smooth texture of a gelato with the flavors of the South. The Atlanta-based company makes each batch of its gelato from scratch, and it comes in these eight flavors: sea-salted caramel, dark chocolate, espresso, bourbon pecan, honey fig, banana with peanut butter caramel, mango-peach sorbet and watermelon sorbet… read more about Honeysuckle Gelato here.

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