22 March 2021 – On 24th MARCH we celebrate Gelato Day! The only day that the European Parliament has ever dedicated to a foodstuff, European Artisanal Gelato Day was established to promote the art of gelato making and has now reached its ninth edition. It welcomes in Springtime by officially inaugurating the 2021 artisanal gelato season. And even though, just like in many other European countries, Italians will not be able to physically go to a gelato parlour, they will still be able to treat themselves to a cone or a bowl and celebrate this mouth-watering occasion that aims to promote and support one of the world’s most popular gastronomic specialities, as well as to marvel at the expertise and know-how of gelato artisans.
Indeed, as President of Artglace Marco Miquel Sirvent explains: «Since 2013, every 24th March we have been celebrating Hand-made Gelato on the only European Day dedicated to a product of food origin. This distinction was achieved through the dedication and passion shown by Artglace gelato makers, and, driven by this same passion, even though many gelato parlours will not be able to open on 24th March, we have been sharpening our creativity, looking for a way to celebrate together. There have been numerous individual initiatives undertaken over the past eight years to promote Artisanal Gelato, often bringing about great benefits. In 2021, on the occasion of its ninth anniversary, Gelato Day will be going virtual – so that everyone, gelato makers and gelato lovers alike, can celebrate together: distanced yet united».
DELIVERY. After a 2020 lockdown that regrettably caught many gelato makers (and others) unprepared, the whole supply chain has reinvented itself and found new ways to reach Italy's homes. The focus will be on delivery at the new Gelato Day event thanks to the efforts of Deliveroo, the leading online food delivery platform. In recent months, Italy has seen a marked surge in food deliveries, dictated by the emergency measures taken by the government to tackle the healthcare emergency. According to the latest report by Gelato-Delivery Market Watch, set up in tandem by Deliveroo and Sistema Gelato – leader in strategic consulting for the gelato supply chain – in 2020 there was growth of 113% compared to 2019, not only during the warmer months, but also off-season: in fact, a boom in orders was witnessed between September and November 2020. A figure that is hardly surprising given that many gelato parlours have entrusted their delivery services to Deliveroo, and that they are up 60% on last year.
«Gelato was last year's revelation for Deliveroo - says Matteo Sarzana, Deliveroo Italia General Manager. It was the food which saw the biggest increase in orders during the first lockdown. This shows that not only has our service been essential for restaurants and customers, but it has also been an opportunity to get back to normality (and deliciousness!) at a difficult time. We want to continue to support the artisan gelato supply chain, using a service that provides them with a parallel and incremental revenue channel and which, during the pandemic, was a real lifeline».
MANTECADO. But what should we order through home delivery? Everyone will at last have the chance to taste this year's novelty, namely Mantecado - Flavour of the Year chosen by Spain: a traditional cream gelato ripple with an orange sauce garnished with plain chocolate flakes – available either in its original recipe or in one of its creative variants developed by master gelato makers all over Italy taking part in Gelato Day.
Some examples: From the village of Ascea in the province of Salerno, Silvia Chirico from Tenuta Chirico will be making Mantecado using milk from her own herd of Mediterranean buffalos. Domenico Belmonte, from Gelateria Artigianale L'Ancora in Santa Maria di Castellabate, will not only be serving cones and bowls but also a Mantecado semifreddo cake and Mantecado gelato pralines covered in dark chocolate. Another variant is one devised by Candida Pelizzoli of the Maestri della Gelateria Italiana association who, alongside the original Mantecado gelato recipe, will also be offering a hot version.
In Milan, at Gusto17, one of Deliveroo's partner gelato parlours and the one with the best track record in deliveries, these interpretations are up to the customers themselves, who regularly have the chance to create their own flavour – called “Flavour 17”. On Gelato Day, Flavour 17 will be Mantecado, but we’re sure it won’t take long for the most creative customers to come up with their own twists on the theme. Another original proposal from Milan combines Spanish flavours with an all-Italian tradition: at Premiata Cremeria Rossi, a Deliveroo partner, consumers will be able to order Mantecado served with a classic Sicilian brioche.
GELATO DAY TAKES TO THE SKIES ON SOCIAL MEDIA. For all those of you who are curious to find out how artisanal gelato is made, one of the new features for 2021 is the new Gelato Day YouTube channel, which will stand alongside the official Gelato Day pages on Facebook and Instagram. Lots of different videos have been made by gelato makers across Europe taking part in the Artglace video contest in the hope of earning themselves a slot at the 10th European Artisanal Gelato Day celebrations hosted by the European Parliament in 2022. The perfect opportunity to take a sneak peek at what goes on inside Europe’s gelato workshops, and to discover all of the experience and creativity behind the finest artisanal gelatos.
And to celebrate Gelato Day, distanced yet united, all that remains is to enjoy our cones and bowls, sharing this moment of deliciousness on social media using the hashtag #GelatoDay.