Growing chain gelato shop GROM and Three traditional gelaterias are maintaining their way and fame by not huge capital but themselves.
Recently, chain shops such as GROM have dramatically increased in popularity in Italy. Various flavours are not the only reason for their success. They have enough money to support them by marketing, PR and using media to support their product. They opened their first shop in Torino in 2003 and now they have several shops all over the world, not only in Italy. The New York Times already gave GROM the title “Sweet Tooth: Grom’s Genius Gelato” in April 2008 because of their popularity and rapidly increasing number of shops. Now in Manhattan, New York and Tokyo people must wait for a few minutes to eat GROM’s gelato. In Rome, however, the three famous gelaterias are still most popular without supports from big company. Of course managing gelateria by themselves without any supporting funds is very difficult because they should cover all cost to maintain their shops. The secret of traditional gelaterias is simple. Just follow the traditional process then people will realize how great it tastes!
In Rome, you can eat master’s gelato in real traditional gelaterias
Gelato is Italian low fat ice cream and the word “gelato” was derived from the Italian word “gelare,” which means freeze. In Italy “gelateria” means an ice cream shop that makes its own gelato by hand. The following three gelaterias each have their own advantage against huge capital, long history and fame by the Pope .
G.Fassi – The oldest Italian gelato factory
G.Fassi opened at the end of the 19th century by Giocomo Fassi but at that time the shop was not a gelateria but a kiosk selling ice cream and beer. But Giocomo’s son Giovanni took over the family business and he was known as the “King’s ice cream maker.” After opening the gelateria the family continued their family business so now they are the oldest Italian gelateria and they have this honor and history.
The assistant, Antonio, 21, said “We still stick to the old way. But by only that old way we can maintain our taste. The most important parts of producing are ingredients, process and the machine. Fresh materials, original process and gelato machines made by Italy! Those are the first steps to making good gelato. The original way is pretty complicated but important. Our customers can eat the most fresh gelato because we make gelato by complete way and supply it to people directly. If gelato will be frozen during production tastes and freshness will be changed. That is the reason why like this famous gelaterias do not want to open branch because the tastes of branch will be different from the original one as a result of the freezing course.”
Giolitti – some flavours have been kept for over 100 years!
Giolitti is located near the Pantheon. Because of its touristic location and fame, the gelateria is always full of people. But the fame of Giolitti is based not solely on touristic location. Giolitti’s apprentice, Christian Maggio, said “Almost half of the customers are travelers because many guidebooks have introduced Giolittie as the most delicious gelateria in Rome. Our gelateria is not very expensive compared to others but customers never stop visiting our shop.”
Old Bridge has been selected by the Pope because their gelato is sweet and even healthy
This gelateria is famous because they are known as the Pope’s gelateria. Previous popes, especially John Paul II, enjoyed Old Bridge’s gelato because of its healthy flavors. This shop is smaller than the other famous gelaterias and has less flavors than other shops but it is still famous for their taste. The most popular flavours are pistachio and lemon. But those flavors are not only popular in their shop but popular also in Rome! Angelo Palombo of Old Bridg, said “We get our pistachios from Bronte,” a town in Eastern Sicily famous for their flavorful, pea-green pistachios, “and we get our lemons from Amalfi. When Amalfi lemons are not in season, we stop making lemon flavor.”
His comments can support why this gelateria is loved so much by the Pope! And he said they strive to make gelatos with fresh ingredients. In fruit flavors they have almost 80 per cent real fruit. Besides, because of that reason, the butter-fat rate is only two to nine per cent, which in contrast to normal ice cream such as Baskin Robbins has at least 16 per cent butter fat. Gelato of Old Bridge is sweet and even healthy! The largest international ice cream chain Baskin Robbins has a tainted reputation about artificial colors and tastes, but at Old Bridge they use organic materials so you do not need to worry whenever you eat gelato.