To say that a well made gelato is a gourmet treat is even a bit of an understatement. When gelato was originally developed in Italy, it was a treat served exclusively for the Medici family, the richest most powerful family of their time in Italy. Like all great things though, Gelato eventually began to spread throughout Italy. In the northern region of Italy, gelato was made predominantly from milk into rich and creamy flavors. In Sicily, in the southern region of Italy, flavors were primarily made from fruits and water into sorbetto. When gelato originally spread across Italy, the artisans (vendors who had perfected their art) went to great lengths to ensure the quality of their gelato. Traditionally ingredients were cooked and stirred over an open fire to aid in mixing the separate ingredients and perfect the rich textures and flavors. Before modern freezing, artisans went as far as to import snow in great amounts from the mountains to help cool the gelato quickly, even in the heat of the Italian summer. The snow was stored in “cantinas” cellars up to 90 feet deep. Using the combination of snow, ice and salt, the artisans churned their gelato by hand in large wooden barrels. This process turned the cooked liquid into the finalized tasty dessert.