Ice cream was once made in a workshop with ingredients of the season. The chocolate did not come from Madagascar and the figs were not picked with one hand tied behind one’s back and blindfolded while singing Italy’s national anthem. The names of the ingredients were not exotic and the flavors were always the usual ones. Strawberry ice cream could be enjoyed only in June and there would be no walnut ice cream if walnuts could not be found at the market.
This is my idea of artisanal. Now ice cream shops are all artisanal, but is the quality of the ice cream made at each truly high? The issue concerning Grom (Il Fatto Alimentare wrote about it in 2012), the Turin-based ice cream colossus, is not a minor one. The consumer association Codacons has forbidden brand-owners Guido Martinetti and Federico Grom to use the term artisanal to define their ice cream because it is not produced on site but in a plant from where it is then sent to all the Grom shops. It can therefore not be considered made-fresh.
According to Grom their world-famous gelato contains no additives or artificial coloring, but only natural ingredients, which are often DOP, IGP, and organic. However, the production process is not artisanal. The ice cream arrives in frozen form at the shops, including the one’s abroad, and is brought to cream consistency at the shop. I think Grom ice cream is good and I appreciate that they make an excellent gluten-free version at all shops, but the old-fashion gelateria has no rivals, in my opinion.