Italy opens world's first gelato culture museum
MILAN (REUTERS) - Who knows what Cosimo Ruggieri would have thought about ending up in a gelato museum? Alchemist at the court of the Medici, Ruggieri, the story goes, created the ice-cream that Catherine De Medici took to Paris in the 1530s to wow the French.
And that's why he ended up in the world's first ever museum of gelato culture and technology which has just opened its doors to local dignitaries and businessmen in the small northern town of Anzola dell'Emilia, near Bologna.
"Gelato was a symbol of power, used at courts to enhance the prestige of noble families. Ice and salt were key ingredients and were expensive and so only aristocrats could afford it," ice-cream expert Mr Luciana Polliotti said.
Mr Polliotti is historical curator at the Carpigiani Gelato Museum, a shiny more than 1,000 sq m space built at a cost of 1.5 million euros (S$2.3 million) to showcase the history of a product that has become a Made in Italy success story the world over.