Gelato’s popularity has skyrocketed in the United States. Founded in Florence, Italy in the 16th century by Bernando Buontalenti in the court of Catherine de Medici, the innovative frozen treat has finally been discovered here.
And people are loving it.
This weekend Gelato Festival America, now in its third year, celebrated its first Chicago edition as part of the Little Italy Festa on Taylor Street.
The winning flavor was Pistachio Sicilia. And lucky for us we don't have to go all the way to Italy to get a taste. It is available locally at Massa Café Italiano & Vero Gelato in Elmwood Park and Franklin Park, respectively.
Other local Chicago competitors included Kyleen Atonson of Acadia and Michael E. Meranda of Gelato d’Oro.
Here’s the top three winners from this weekend's competition:
Chicago’s very own Angelo Lollino (Instagram: @verocoffeegelato) The Pistachio Sicilia flavor was a hit with the Public Jury, composed of ticket-holding guests, as well as the Technical Jury of 12 professional judges. Angelo balanced his gelato perfectly, combining, “Bronte DOP pistachios with a light Sicilian lemon essence and a topping of candied orange and lemon peel”.
Fragola e Menta Sorbetto is a simple flavor, based on fresh fruit and fresh mint, that brings memories of warm evenings on Taylor Street, by Michael E. Meranda of Gelato d’Oro in Chicago, IL.
Little Red is an enticing cheesecake gelato marbled with decadent red velvet cake and a traditional honey graham cracker crust, drizzled with melted white chocolate and neatly tied up with a strawberry ribbon, by Savannah G. Lee (Instagram: @savannahs_gelato_kitchen) of Savannah’s Gelato Kitchen in San Francisco, CA.
Chocolate Peanut Butter Puppy Chow, a peanut butter and chocolate-based recipe, garnished with chex mix, by Jessica La Forge of God Save The Cream in Boston, MA. The Technical Jury prize is awarded to the professional judging panel’s favorite flavor (with no consideration given to the popular vote by all ticket-holding guests). Each gelato is judged based on presentation, flavor, structure, creativity, and articulation.
Lemon Freckled Carrot Bread, her Mother’s homemade carrot bread recipe made with oven-baked bread, cinnamon, and crushed walnuts. It is broken and blended directly into a home-crafted Wisconsin milk base with an extra handful of fresh grated carrots. The gelato is frozen then freckled with zesty lemon peel & topped with our local-made graham crumbles, by Kathy Turek of The Knotted Cone Gelato Co in Appleton, WI. The Popular Jury prize is awarded to the flavor that was preferred by the general admission guests (not counting the professional judging panel).
Filed under: Gelato and ice cream