If we go back to the beginning there is considerable confusion about times, places and people.
We do not know who invented gelato we now know and love, but it is a “scenario” with a number of “actors”, all of whom Italian. We can narrow the choice down to three contenders: Ruggeri and Buontalenti, both from Florence, and a Sicilian, Procopio dei Coltelli.
For somebody in the antiquity the beginning of Artisan Gelato was dated 3.000 years ago B.C. in the Far East, by the Chinese people.
Yet in the Bible, Isaac offered to Abraham goat’s milk mixed with snow: It was the first “eat and drink” of the Gelato story.
In the 16th century there are the names of those who made the history of Italian Gelato.
Ruggeri, a chicken farmer, occasionally a cook, unexpectedly entered the contest “the most amazing food ever seen”, sponsored by the Medici family for the most famous cooks in Tuscany. He would make a frozen dessert. The jury members were conquered by his “sorbetto” .They said “we have never tasted anything so delicious”. So the winner became famous and was sought all over the country.
Still during the 16th century in Florence, Bernardo Buontalenti, a famous architect discovered an important way of preserving “snow”.
The real gelato making business started with Procopio dei Coltelli. He invented an ice-cream machine which could improve the standard quality. He opened a shop in 1686, called Cafč Procope in Paris and so started the business of selling gelato to consumers.
In the past century the waffle cone was born by the intuition of gelato maker that tried to use wafers: the gelato cone had got an explosive success!
On the other side of the world, gelato was known thanks to Italian gelato makers emigrants in the US, where around 1770, the first gelato shop was opened in New York.
In Europe artisan gelato increased after the end of World War I.
Since then, artisan gelato was widespread all over the world, with a huge kind of flavours (fruit, chocolate, cream, coffee …) traditionally sweet, but also salty.
In 1936 Prodotti Stella was born out of the passion for artisan gelato of Italian tradition.