Gelato Social

  • Jun 10, 2012 · 3:30 PM
  • Mary

Join the Mid South Italian Club for our Gelato Social at the home of Mary Page

Sunday, June 10 at 3:30 pm

Come celebrate the beginning of summer! Just bring your favorite gelato, sorbetto, granita, topping or dessert wine to share…and don’t forget to RSVP so that we know how many people to expect!

Gelato is an age-old delicacy that dates back thousands of years. The earliest beginnings are recorded in 3000 B.C. when Asian cultures discovered they could consume crushed ice and flavorings. Five hundred years later, it became a custom for Egyptian pharaohs to offer their guests a cup of ice sweetened with fruit juices. Italians joined in as the Romans began the ritual of eating the ice of the volcanoes Etna and Vesuvius, and covering it with honey.

It was during the Italian Renaissance when the great tradition of Italian gelato began. The famed Medici family in Florence sponsored a contest searching for the greatest frozen dessert. A chicken farmer and cook named Ruggeri took part in the competition. Ruggeri’s tasty frozen dessert of sweet fruit juice and ice (similar to today’s sorbet) won the coveted award, which immediately put Ruggeri in the spotlight. The news of Ruggeri’s talent traveled quickly and Caterina de Medici took Ruggeri with her to France. Caterina was convinced that only he could rival the fine desserts of French chefs – and had to make his specialty at her wedding to the future King of France.

In the late 1500s, the Medici family commissioned famous artist and architect Bernardo Buontalenti to prepare a beautiful feast for the visiting King of Spain. Using his culinary skills to present an elaborate and visually pleasing display, Buontalenti presented the King of Spain with a creamy frozen dessert that we now call gelato. Buontalenti is considered the inventor of gelato.

But it was Francesco Procopio dei Coltelli, a famous restaurateur, who made gelato famous all over Europe. Procopio moved from Palermo to Paris and opened a café that soon became the hub for every novelty, from exotic coffee, to chocolate, to a refined gelato served in small glasses that resembled egg cups. The Procope, as the café was known, soon became hugely successful and gelato spread throughout France and into other parts of Europe.

Gelato made its way to the Americas for the first time in 1770, when Giovanni Basiolo brought it to New York City. At this point, there were two types of gelato – one made by mixing water with fruits such as lemon and strawberries (also known as Sorbetto), and another made by mixing milk with cinnamon, pistachio, coffee or chocolate. By 1846, the hand-crank freezer was refined and changed the way Americans made this frozen dessert. The freezer kept the liquid mixture constantly in motion and kept it cool throughout, making a product that was no longer granular, but creamy. This is where the history of industrial ice cream began, as the product contained more air and was less dense. gelato did not make a name for itself in the U.S. until the late 1900s – although its popularity still had a long way to go.

Today, gelato stores are opening all over the U.S. as Americans start to appreciate the superior quality of gelato and learn about the intense flavor, the natural ingredients and the nutritional value of gelato. And though gelato still remains largely undiscovered in the U.S. compared to Europe, companies like PreGel are working to change that by training owners and employees of gelato shops and other foodservice establishments to combine technology with the tried and true Italian techniques – to consistently produce the creamiest, smoothest, most flavorful gelato around (


Join or login to comment.

  • Kip & Terrye P.

    E' sempre divertente vedere amici, vechio e nuovi.

    June 11, 2012

  • A former member
    A former member

    It was so much fun! Let's do this again!

    June 11, 2012

  • Ornella M.

    E' sempre divertente ritrovarci tutti insieme, e il gelato era buonissimo...adesso dieta!

    June 11, 2012

  • A former member
    A former member

    I gorged on several different flavors of ice cream, including, cinnamon. You missed some good eats and comaraderie with our Italian friends. Next time, don't miss it.

    June 11, 2012

  • Gretchen

    What an awesome afternoon! Great company and a myriad of unique gelati. Thanks so much to Mary, the perfect hostess. Looking forward to the next one!

    June 10, 2012

  • Kip & Terrye P.

    È certo, ci saremo.

    June 9, 2012

15 went

  • mary
    Sponsoring Member, Member Team Badda Bocce
    Event Host
  • Gretchen
    Sustaining Member, Co-Chairman, Board of Directors, Co-Organizer
  • Kip & Terrye P. +1
    Sustaining Members
  • Ornella M.
    Basic Member, Member Board of Directors, Co-Organizer
  • Mariella +1
    Basic Member, Member Board of Directors, Co-Organizer
  • Anastasio
    Sustaing Member & Member Board of Directors, Co-Organizer
  • Garry Del C.
    Chairman, sponsoring member & member Team Badda Bocce, Organizer
  • Mary Beth Del C.
    Sustaining Member, Co-Organizer
  • A former member
    +1 guest
  • A former member
    +1 guest
  • A former member
  • A former member

Our Sponsors

  • Cyberitalian

    As a member of the Mid South Italian Club you receive a 10% discount

  • Creature Comforts

    Creature Comforts provides the Club with financial support.

  • Edison Wingate & Artistic Landscape

    The Mid South's only bocce design build provides us financial support

  • Handyworks

    John Mc Neil & Handyworks provides financial support.

  • Greg Harris Interior Design

    Greg Harris Interior Design provides financial support

  • Daybreak Treatment Center & School

    Offers financial support and provides classroom space

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