The quality of artisan gelato is pretty good all over Italy. But if you want to taste the best nocciola (hazelnut), head to Tuscany, precisely to Carrara, where the gelateria Caprice 2 was recently awarded the “Oscar of Gelato” at the fair held by the Associazione Italiana Gelatieri (Italian Association of Gelato Chefs).
The annual event, whose 2014 theme was hazelnut, was also the occasion to reveal some interesting data about the gelato industry in Italy: there are 13,000 gelaterie in the country employing 40,000 people. Lombardy, Veneto and Emilia-Romagna are the regions with the largest number of gelato parlors. It is estimated that 165,000 tons of gelato are consumed every year in Italy. The creme flavors, such as panna, crema, nocciola, cioccolato, are preferred over fruit flavors, with hazelnut and chocolate being the absolute favorites among Italians.
The cost of artisan gelato has increased by 3.2% since 2012. But remember, always favor artisan gelato against industrial ice-cream – it’s better for your health and your figure. Nutritionists explain that artisan gelato is not fattening, while it contains natural ingredients that are good for fighting free radicals.