Over the past few years, Rome has seen a boom in gelato shops that emphasize natural, high quality ingredients. Believe it or not, the city lacked those establishments for several years. As the journalist and blogger Katie Parla notes, even though gelato has always been considered an essential part of Roman ritual, "at many places natural ingredients have been replaced by dehydrated milk powder, hydrogenated vegetable oils, chemical stabilizers, and artificial colors and flavors."
But thanks in great part to master gelato maker Claudio Torcè, there's been a kind of revolution in gelato production. At places like his new Il Gelato Bistrò, or the shops of his acolytes (Fatamorgana, Otaleg), there seems to be an effort to change consumer palates and urge folks to create real food again, without being sanctimonious or elitist. It's simply about the craft. Once Romans were content to eat the gelato that was closest to where they lived, worked, or happened to be strolling, but that may no longer be the case. These new openings, particularly in the center, signal a success for the natural food movement in Rome.
For a guide to all of Rome's great gelato shops, not just the new ones, visit Parla's site.Read More