Gelato waffle cone or cup
The gelato cone is a twentieth century invention, although diverse professional caterers dispute this. In earlier centuries, gelato was served on regular dishes and enjoyed while sitting, as at a meal. Gelato cups were certainly not the single-use ones we are used to nowadays: they may have been a squared piece of card, or even a specially washed vine leaf. Gelato waffles revolutionized eating gelato while walking, making it cleaner and easier. It also added a crunchiness that balances the softness of the cream.
The war of the gelato waffle patent
At least three characters, two ice cream makers from Cadore and a Syrian pastry chef claim the invention of waffles for gelato. What is certain is that gelato waffles first appeared in the United States: One Italo Marchionni immigrated to New York and, in 1903, recorded the invention of a machine for the production of cones. However, Marchionni probably copied the idea of Antonio Valvona, who had patented a production system for edible gelato cups the previous year. In any event, in 1904 the Saint Louis Fair offered rolled-up middle-eastern pancakes for holding gelato.
Ultimately, they all won because they went on to open successful ice cream parlours and ice cream lovers appreciated the practicality of the new format: a container that did not have to be returned, carried around or washed. The gelato waffle arrived in Italy in the thirties. A Hungarian producer imported the first waffles for round ball portions to Trieste. Venetian gelato makers have since abandoned spatulas, unlike the Sicilians who still prefer them.
Gelato wafers: irresistible fragrance
You never get tired of the gelato cup: it’s difficult to limit yourself to just one flavour or to not decorate it with sprinkles, sauces, syrups or gelato waffles. The added ingredients make the gelato even more pleasing to the eye. Extravagant, fun shapes are sometimes formed: three-dimensional sticks and flat geometries give rhythm to the roundness and the colours of the creams. Gelato waffles existed in the fifteenth century: mixtures of water, flour, eggs, sugar and aromas were formed into wafers that accompanied tastings in Renaissance courts. The addition of an ice cream wafer has not only aesthetic value: nutritionally, it makes the ice cream cup more complete , perfect for replacing a meal , perhaps accompanied by a portion of fresh fruit.
Which is better for ice cream: a cone or a cup?
University professor Professor Kay McMath of Massey University in New Zealand has even examined the dispute between cone supporters and cup lovers. From her research on sensoriality, McMath deduced that the cone is the best choice for tasting gelato: the flavour is distributed on the tongue in a uniform layer and is thus enjoyed at the right temperature from the first to the last lick. Perhaps the RivaReno gelato laboratories in Australia are familiar with their neighbour in New Zealand’s theory.
Certainly the RivaReno laboratories can offer traditional printed cones, light and delicate waffles (also available without gluten, without risk of contamination), and rolled cones that are thicker and tastier. RivaReno gelato is also served in wafer baskets modelled by hand in an elegant corolla shape: the sound of crunching a gelato bowl is music that celebrates the fresh gelato of the day.