France scoops fourth world ice cream crown

French artisans preparing their dishes during the 8th Gelato World Cup in Rimini, Italy, on Jan 20, 2018. PHOTO: AFP

RIMINI, ITALY (AFP) - France has conquered the home of ice cream for the fourth time after winning the 2018 Gelato World Cup at a food gala held in the Italian city of Rimini.

France beat 11 other countries to take the ice cream crown, with Spain and Australia taking second and third place, while previous winner and fellow gelato giant Italy had to sit out the eighth edition of the competition.

Gelato World Cup rules have always barred the holders from participating in the following edition of the tournament, which is held every two years, but that rule has been removed for 2020, allowing France, announced winners on Tuesday (Jan 23), and Italy to clash cones for the first time.

Argentina, Brazil, South Korea, Morocco, Poland, Switzerland, Ukraine and the United States also took part in the event - held at the four-day SIGEP international trade show for artisan ice cream, pastry, bakery and coffee - each led by a team of master ice cream makers showcasing their scoop skills.

Italian culture minister Dario Franceschini participated in the event and announced that, following Neapolitan pizza being added to United Nations' cultural body Unesco's intangible heritage list in December, he would push for ice cream's inclusion.

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