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The delicious history of gelato

Throughout the centuries, different peoples and people from all walks of life, such as the Babylonians, Egyptians, Arabs, and Romans, had the habit of
cooling sweet substances, such as juices obtained by squeezing fruit.
It is also known that the Pharaohs of the East and Egypt used to offer their
guests a silver goblet divided in half, one containing snow and the other fruitjuice.
In 1533, a poultry vendor and part-time cook from Florence named Ruggeri
participated in a contest organized by the Medici Court with the theme “the
most singular dish ever seen.”
Ruggeri decided to take part by preparing a “frozen treat”: he won everyone
Caterina de’ Medici, who was marrying the future King of France, Duke
Henry of Orleans, brought Ruggeri with her: he was the only pastry chef
capable of humiliating the French. During the wedding banquet in Marseille,
Ruggeri introduced his famous gelato to the French, astounding all: however, all this fame made him the object of hostility, soon becoming hated by all the chefs in the capital for his skill.
Therefore, the good Ruggeri wrote down his secret recipe, gave it to Caterina, and returned to his poultry vending business.
The idea was taken up and developed by Bernardo Buontalenti, an architect, sculptor, and painter who was a pupil of Vasari. During a visit by Spanish ambassadors, the artist was tasked with organizing “feasts that would make the foreigners, especially the Spanish, look like fools.”
He then created a recipe based on milk, honey, egg yolk, and a touch of wine. This incredible dessert was a huge success, giving rise to the “gelato buontalenti” or “crema fiorentina” that can still be found in all the best ice
cream parlors in Florence: a light-colored flavor, without the addition of artificial colors, where the main ingredients include cream and custard.

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