The Gelato World Tour stopped in nearby Republic Square Park this weekend. This event was sponsored by the Carpigiani Gelato University in Sigep, Italy. Their mission is “to spread the culture of Italian gelato, a fresh, artisan food product, to the general public throughout the world.” After sampling gelato for the past three days, I can say that I heartily approve of this mission.
This event was part of a competition to name the World’s Best Gelato. Sixteen “gelato artisans” traveled to Austin from all over North America, including far-away cities such as Anchorage, Miami, and Vancouver. A $10 ticket allowed you to taste five gelatos and also cast a vote for your favorite flavor. The top three winners will then go to the world competition in Italy, along with winners from other countries on the tour.
Eating gelato was definitely the primary activity at the Gelato World Tour. But there were also talks about how to start your own gelato franchise as well as contests for the contestants. In one contest, the gelato makers tried to scoop exactly 60 grams into a serving cup, which was then weighed on a nearby scale. Their accuracy was impressive.
Austin was represented by Matthew Lee from local Italian dessert and coffee shop, Teo. His gelato was a smooth mixture of peanut butter and chocolate hazelnut. He probably had an unfair advantage as the local boy, but his gelato was quite tasty and received our vote.
Austin is the only North American stop for the Gelato World Tour. The rest of the continent should be very, very jealous!