The Italian Almanac

yummy ice cream

Italian News - April 27

It's official: Italians love ice cream. Only the youngest members of the Bel Paese aren't crazy about the stuff, a poll said Tuesday. The poll, carried out by the market research agency Eurisko on behalf of the Italian ice cream association, said 50 million Italians - 95% of the population - were gung ho about gelato. Those numbers mean only the newborn, who can't eat it, don't share ice-cream mania.

Eurisko said the 50 million were fairly evenly split between those who gave free rein to their passion and those who saw gelato as a guilty pleasure to be indulged on special occasions, but not without second thoughts about the possible effect on their waistlines. For the vast majority of respondents, 95% again, ice cream is synonymous with "pleasure".

Despite a raft of new flavours, Italians like tradition in their cornetto. The poll was topped by classic white ice-cream (73%), followed by mixed fruits (41%), chocolate (27%), hazel-nut (20%), lemon (13%), strawberry (12%), vanilla (10%), stracciatella (9%) and pistacchio (8%).

As a sign of the rising power of 'slow food' and a return to leisurely eating, 80% of respondents "try to make their ice cream last as long as possible". The average time it takes an Italian to get through a medium-sized cone was calculated at around seven minutes.