The fruit may be fresh, but…

One of the most profitable businesses going seems to be that of gelatiere, judging by the number of ice-cream parlours opening in Rome. We have always criticised Rome's ice cream (with the exception of “Il Gelato di San Crispino”, which we are very enthusiastic about), and have always invited readers to go to different places and make a discovery: ice cream flavours have an identical taste and fragrance, be it at Testaccio or Trionfale, in the city centre or in the suburbs. You can be sure they're having you on if they call their ice cream “crafted”, indeed it's a con, since every one of them make use of industrial mixes, colouring, extracts, thickeners and water in quantity. There was a time when the gelatiere's work was viewed, with admiration, as a veritable art; but the only art left in the business is knowing how to sell. So it doesn't matter which parlour you go into, because the product is standardised, and as far as l’craftsmanshipà is concerned we can neither see it or taste it. We are always curious to go into a new shop, but are regularly disappointed, and the fact that fresh fruit is used is just a detail that does not lessen the criticism as levelled above.

- April 1995 -