History shows that human beings have strived very hard for many centuries to create the coldest and most refreshing drinks in some of the hottest seasons, simply by using water, flavors and if possible ice or snow.
Charles Panati, the author of the book called "Extra Ordinary Origins of Everyday Things" attributes to the Chinese a four thousand year old recipe, based on well cooked rice mixed with milk and other ingredients buried in snow. Similar methods were used with fruit juice to create cold desserts. Such techniques were not only found in China but throughout the Far East, Middle East and Europe. Gelato is even mentioned in the Bible according to author Alba Peruzzi, when Isaac offered cold goats milk to Abraham and says to him "eat and drink it." Thus according to Biblical record Abraham was the first person to experience the dessert which we today call Gelato. There are so many sources to which the origin of Gelato can be linked, that to cover all of them would be impossible. Therefore we will credit the invention of this "sweet guilt" to every contributor from the Far East to the Farthest West.
Gelato was created in Italy in the far North by the people of Dolomite and in the far South by Sicilians. In Dolomite the Gelato was made with milk, cream, sugar, eggs, and natural flavors. Snow was stored in the cantina (basement) during the Winter seasons and when tourists were traveling during the Summertime into the mountains of Dolomite, the sale of Gelato was one of the major sources of income for its people. Gelato was considered to be a rich-man's dessert and few people could afford it. As a result of reduced tourism in Dolomite during the Winter seasons and Summer income not being sufficient for its Artisans to support their families, there was a great seasonal migration of Dolomite Artisans to Austria, Germany, Switzerland and France to sell Gelato in the rich communities. Consequently, throughout the decades Italians were dominant in the business of milk based Gelato in the Northern regions and neighboring countries. In the far South, Gelato was lower in fat, predominantly water based, slightly higher in sugar content and was called ""Sorbetto," known today as "Sorbet." Similar conditions to the Dolomite region were used in the South, especially in Sicily where underground storage, some as deep as 30 meters (over 90 feet) were used to store compacted snow. Likewise, local Sicilian Artisans would travel to the neighboring countries to sell their wonderful dessert to rich clients.
It is no secret that the Gelato found today is not produced through methods that were used many decades ago because Gelato is produced using much better techniques today. There isn't a tourist that travels through Italy and is not amazed by the magnificent wonder known as Gelato. We ask you to close your eyes and imagine yourself in the Alps of Italy, now you can open your eyes and see the greatest Gelato ever created brought to the greatest country in the world.
Now enjoy a simple cup of nocciola (hazelnut) from the beautiful man-made landscape of Manhattan to the divine landscape of Colorado, from the Golden State to the First State, from the North to the South, from the Garden State of the East to the horizons of the West.