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Making Bad Ice Cream Could Become A Crime In Italy

by : Cameron Frew on : 22 Apr 2021 08:25
Making Bad Ice Cream Could Become A Crime In ItalyPA

Bad ice cream could soon be outlawed in Italy, under new proposals.

There’s nothing quite like walking past an ice cream shop or gelato stand during a lovely day on holiday. You peruse the flavours, get a nice tub, and all seems well in the world.

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But what if there was a con happening you didn’t even realise? What if sellers were making their ice cream look fluffier than it actually is by pumping it with air? Italian lawmakers do not cone-done this behaviour.

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The Italian Senate is considering proposals that would see ice cream producers face fines of up to €10,000 (£12,960) if they don’t meet strict quality standards – for example, the amount of air added to the mixture, The Sydney Morning Herald reports.

The bill was put forward by six senators from the centre-left Democratic and Italia Viva parties, who say it’ll protect consumers rights from people breaking ‘the basic rules of producing artisanal ice cream’.

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Socialist senator Riccardo Nencini, who supports the bill, said: ‘Italian gelato is one of the gastronomic symbols of our country, along with pasta and pizza. But our laws do not preserve artisanal ice cream and producers who make it.’

While some believe it’ll weed out phony vendors who puff up their ice-cream stands disingenuously, other ‘gelato masters’ have argued it’s not a mark of poor craftmanship to make the mixture fluffier.

The new rules would put a 30% limit on the amount of air in ice cream. Currently, it’s estimated industrial ice cream can sometimes have up to 80% compressed air, with customers mostly paying for ‘air’ instead of a tasty treat.

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The ice cream sector is said to be worth €1 billion (£864 million) in Italy. Stefano Ferrara, one of the country’s top ice-cream makers, said: ‘A law that protects consumers and real artisans would be useful.’

One the opposing side, Alberto Manassei, a gelato master from Rome who owns Gelateria dei Gracchi, said: ‘The issue of inflating gelato is a fake one. Pumping air into ice cream is possible just by using some ingredients instead of others. If you go through the list of ingredients, you’ll see that the key one is often the last.’

The law would also prohibit the use of artificial flavours, colouring and hydrogenated fats over fresh ingredients. Manassei said chemical additives are the norm in ice cream shops, explaining: ‘If the last thing you find in a pistachio ice cream is pistachio, then you have a problem.’

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Cameron Frew

After graduating from Glasgow Caledonian University with an NCTJ and BJTC-accredited Multimedia Journalism degree, Cameron ventured into the world of print journalism at The National, while also working as a freelance film journalist on the side, becoming an accredited Rotten Tomatoes critic in the process. He's now left his Scottish homelands and taken up residence at UNILAD as a journalist.

Topics: Food, ice cream, Italy, Law, Now

Credits

The Sydney Morning Herald
  1. The Sydney Morning Herald

    Bad gelati could be illegal under new Italian law