Jun 14

Carpigiani Gelato University: The Art of Making Gelato

by in food, italy, study abroad

Italy’s best gelato is known worldwide and carefully crafted by experienced gelato chefs, educated only by the top instructors in the gelato industry!  Carpigiani Gelato University, located in the Emilia Romagna region of Italy, churns out award winning gelato-makers from Canada to Israel and a few places in between. Future gelatiers from all over the world can spend anywhere from 1 to 4 weeks studying the science and art of gelato-making, perfecting their craft under the guidance of Italy’s top gelato chefs and instructors. Many of CGU’s students return to their country with the intention of opening an artisan gelato shop and sharing their love of this treasured Italian treat.

I had the sweet treat of spending a day in class last month at the gelato university in Bologna, observing the students in practice and sampling more than a dozen types of artisan gelato made fresh that day! Read on for a glimpse into what it is like to be a student at the famous Carpigiani Gelato University!

But First … What is Gelato?

According to Carpigiani Gelato University in Bologna there are some important differences between gelato and ice cream and the two are often confused.

It is very common throughout the world for the word gelato to be translated into English and other languages as ice cream or its local equivalent. However, it must be noted that there are significant differences between Gelato and Ice Cream.

Italian gelato contains less fat than ice cream, has less incorporated air, and is served at a higher temperature. Consequently, gelato provides a greater flavor experience because there is less fat that coats the tongue, more flavor per spoonful (due to less air), and the taste buds are more alive since the temperature is not so cold as to dull their sensitivity. Not to mention fewer calories to burn!

It is therefore correct to maintain a clear distinction between the two products, even linguistically.

Carpigiani Gelato University is dedicated to the development of the gelato culture throughout the world and therefore will always refer to the product by its true name, GELATO.

Courses at Carpigiani Gelato University

Intensive lessons begin in the classroom at 9:00 am, a half day of theory (and some serious science!) followed by a half day in the gelato lab, ending at 6:00 pm, full of gelato and knowledge.

Seminars at CGU are taught in Italian, English, French and German but with students from the US, Uruguay, Israel, Jordan, the Netherlands, Taiwan and more, English is the common language and the language instruction for the majority of courses at Carpigiani Gelato University.




















Gelato is serious business and the morning I visited was spent studying sugars.  Sugar-free gelato was the curriculum for the day, therefore students learned about balancing the natural sugars in a recipe and calculating many things that a non-gelato-maker like myself would never even think of.  Proper gelato is made using only fresh, seasonal fruits, each fruit bringing a different level of sweetness to the recipe.

The class was divided into groups, each group assigned 3 flavours and given the task of creating the recipes and balancing the sugars for that day’s sugar-free gelato assignment.  Once the recipes were created and the ingredients gathered, the students set off to the gelato lab to design their gelato.


The international students worked together to craft their gelato, and finally, nearing 5:00 pm, the most anticipated part of the day began – the tasting!  Amongst the sugar-free flavours sampled that day were pineapple, strawberry, passion fruit, kiwi, melon, lemon, chocolate and almond.  In total there were 13 flavours up for tasting, not one of which you would guess was made without sugar!  Goal achieved!











The student featured above is Aldin, from Uruguay.  She was sent to CGU by an investor, for 2 weeks of training, expected to bring her expertise back home to an upcoming gelato shop in her hometown.

If you are interested in attending a course at Carpigiani Gelato University in Bologna, Emilia Romanga in Italy, please let me know!

While I was a guest of CGU and Emilia Romanga Tourism, all words and photos are my own.

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One Response to “Carpigiani Gelato University: The Art of Making Gelato”

  1. From Dick de Jong:

    Fascinating article, gives me a whole new appreciation for gelato. There’s a gelato shop on Elgin Street in Ottawa, which I’ve never been to, but now you’ve got me interested! Well done!

    Posted on June 18, 2012 at 3:18 am #

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