Europe, 18 March 2019 - On Sunday, 24th March, gelato makers from across Europe will be coming together to celebrate the 7th European Artisanal Gelato Day, the only day that the European Parliament has ever dedicated to foodstuff.
The Gelato Day, coordinated by Artglacè and with the support of ACOMAG, Confartigianato, Longarone Fiere, SIGEP by Italian Exhibition Group and UIF - Unione Italiana Food, is a unique opportunity to promote artisanal knowledge, the quintessential expression of quality, authenticity and local produce, and to support quality hand-crafted gelato, one of the few products that everyone agrees on, enjoyed by adults and children throughout the world for its beneficial properties and, above all, for its deliciousness. And this year Tiramisu, the official flavour at the 2019 edition dedicated to Italy, will be served up in all European gelato parlours, and even the greediest among us will be able to get our fill of the official recipe signed by young Thomas Infanti, winner of the Tiramisù Gelato Italian Cup held at the 59th International Exhibition of Artisan Gelato, or one of its original variations, a clear expression of the experience and skill which the gelato artisans will be bringing to the event.
"The European Parliament has recognized the exceptional value of artisanal gelato, currently the only foodstuff to receive such an honour, by giving it its own special Day, on the 24th March - declared European Parliament President Antonio Tajani. - indeed, artisanal gelato ia a productof execellence in terms of food quality and safety, raising the profile of agri-food products in each individual mermber state consumers are increasingly opting for healthy, more nutritious and tastier foods made using traditional methods which do not have an impact on the environment, and is a sector that directly employs some 300,000, mostly young, workers in around 50,000 ice cream parlours throughout Europe”.
Artisanal gelato is a true asset for all gelato makers and the entire supply chain. Suffice to say that in Europe alone, turnover has reached 9 billion euros, around 60% of the global market, with annual growth of 4%. Indeed, Italy is the world leader not only in terms of sales and numbers of gelato parlours in the country (approx. 39,000), but also of ingredients and semi-finished products for gelato (45 manufacturers generating total turnover of 1.4 billion euros) and the manufacture of machinery and showcases for gelato parlours.
But in addition to the wealth of economic data, reflecting the sector’s high employment rates especially for young people, the product’s positive effects on health should by no means be underestimated: gelato is a well balanced food, with a low glycaemic index; it is one of the most wholesome desserts, with the lowest caloric density, especially when made with local ingredients, respect and expertise by master gelato makers.
“It is for all of these reasons that I pass on to you the European Parliament’s invitation - continued President Tajani - so that all Member States will support quality production in the form of hand-crafted gelato as a competitive sector for the European economy, and celebrate March 24th by contributing to the promotion of this product and the development of the gastronomic tradition in this sector”.
And it’s not just about cones and tubs: a variety of initiatives and events have been organized, in Italy and throughout Europe, to celebrate Gelato Day. On Sunday, 24th March, for example, the Italian gelato association Confartigianato Gelatieri will be bringing gelato to piazzas throughout Italy, with celebrations in conjunction with local gelato makers, funds will be raised for charity and vouchers will be distributed in schools to enjoy free hand-crafted tiramisu-flavoured gelato. In Venice, in cojunction with the Veneto Regional government, Longarone Fiere will be holding a conference on the European artisanal gelato sector, focussing on the importance of hand-crafted gelato for the development of local economies. Val di Zoldo (in the province of Belluno) will be putting on “Dolce Sciare”, and the Val di Zoldo - Dolomites cablecars, in collaboration with Longarone Fiere and Uniteis.e.V., will be offering a free daily ski pass to any skiers turning up to the ticket office with a 2019 receipt from a gelato parlour. Furthermore, from 11.00 am to 1.00 pm, gelato made using old-style salt and ice machines will be handed out for free on the slopes.
But Gelato Day does not stop on March 24 and initiatives to promote and spread the culture of artisanal gelato will be carrying on throughout the year in Italy and in Europe, with events, competitions, promotions coordinated by gelato makers in the same area, theme contests and masterclasses, all of which will be announced on the www.gelato-day.it website and on the official Facebook page.