|In the 16th century, Bernardo Buontalenti first introduced gelato to the Florentine court of Francesco de Medici in Italy. For centuries it was the exclusive indulgence of royal families. Eventually, the recipes made their way to the common people and quickly became part of the fabric of Italian life.
In the North, gelato was made with milk, cream, sugar, eggs, and natural flavors. Snow was stored in deep cantinas (basements) during the winter months.
In the far South, gelato was lower in fat, predominantly water-based. It was known as sorbetto, known today as sorbet. Today, gelato is rapidly becoming an American favorite.