Summer is full of topical images, such as reading on a deck chair, wearing a hat that no one would dare wear in another season, living in Bermuda shorts, forgetting your socks, diving into the turquoise waters of idyllic beaches... Of all of them, such Perhaps the simplest is also the most real and repeated: eating an ice cream walking calmly, although doing contortions to control the smears.
In our country, ice cream consumption is still focused on the hottest season of the year. Americans, Australians or New Zealanders drink it at any time and lead the world ranking of consumption per inhabitant, between 26 and 18 liters. But, of course, this is because they store large containers in the freezer at home and gorge themselves on them as soon as they have a heartbreak, if we are to listen to what Hollywood shows us.
On the other hand, the Spanish do not even appear in the top 20 positions of the table. And the Italians, who anyone would imagine would be the champions, occupy a discreet eighth place. But this is because we Mediterraneans consume ice cream on the street, greedily approaching specialized establishments that offer a pantone of dozens of colors and flavors.
Anyone would think that ice cream was not invented until the advent of electricity. However, in the Chinese, Macedonian, Persian or Roman royal courts they were already taken a couple of millennia ago. Although it was about adding fruit juice, honey or sweet syrups to crushed snow that had been preserved in mountain deposits. Like the current snow ice creams so common in Japan or the popsicles that children prefer.
Ice cream as we know it is attributed to the Italian Francesco Procopio dei Coltelli, who at the end of the 17th century would have found a way to lower the temperature of the ice by adding plenty of salt. And with it he refrigerated a container in which milk, sugar and squeezed fruits were mixed. Later it would be the French who incorporated the unctuousness of the egg.
Today, the machines that produce ice cream are more sophisticated, although they are based on the same principle. Although, to the surprise of most, the secret lies in how much air can be introduced into the dough. It is what makes the preparation spongy, in addition to having a good base of milk fat (or vegetable), eggs, sugar and flavoring.
At the end of the 20th century, ice cream parlors broke with topical flavors and embarked on a delusion of adding new fragrances to ice cream: thus, indecipherable blue concoctions called “smurfs” appeared, but also tropical fruit ice cream, cheesecake, cookies... And in this century a twist was given, incorporating salty foods such as olive oil, cheese, wine or even recipes such as chistorra with fried eggs or squid in sauce. When the Nossi-Bé ice cream parlor in Bilbao presented them, some described it as nonsense. Now that store appears recurrently among the best in the world.
The ice cream makers that have their origin in the Alicante regions are legion. The nougat makers had to devise ways of subsistence once Christmas was over, and whenever we search the lists of the best ice cream parlors in Spain (sometimes in the world), we find establishments linked to that area, such as Raúl Asencio in Novelda, Masià in Sant Vicent del Raspeig, Cassata in Elda or Raquel in Elx. Although there are exceptions to this rule, and sensational ice cream parlors appear in Cádiz (Cremería Gelato), Madrid (Rocambolesc), Málaga (Freskitto) or Badalona (Soler).
The ice cream makers take themselves very seriously, and participate in the world championship that is held every two years in Rimini (Italy), where they are proclaimed the best producers on the planet, after having evaluated an average of five thousand establishments. It goes without saying that the champion is usually guaranteed large lines at the door of his store forever and ever.
The 2022 trophy went to I giardini di Marzo de Varazze, on the Ligurian Coast. Two Spanish ice cream parlors were among the top ten: Veneta Gelato de València (6th) and La Cremeria de Cádiz (8th). Although the Italians hold the best positions, there are also producers from unsuspected countries such as Hungary, Mexico, Singapore or Taiwan.
If you were crazy enough about ice cream to organize the holidays in search of the best in the world, the ranking is published in Gelato Festival.
One of their fixed flavors: lemon and basil.
Classic flavors like chocolate from Ecuador.
The latest thing: sbrisolona cake ice cream with recioto wine
The chain's original location is Swensen's. A main flavor, that of licorice.
Mostly praised for their pistachio ice cream.