Italy

Italy Moves to Protect 'Artisanal Gelato'

Italy's desire to impose "standards of identity" threatens the food freedom of eaters.

|

Italian lawmakers have introduced a bill that would protect "artisanal gelato" makers by banning airier alternatives. The bill, sponsored by several left-leaning politicians, would also "make it illegal for Italian gelato sellers to use ingredients other than 'milk and its derivatives,' eggs, and fresh fruit."

"Certain phases of processing the product w[ould] also be regulated, such as a maximum of 72 hours allowed for the freezing of the ice cream at a maximum of 0 degrees," Forbes reports.

Should the bill become law, violators could face fines of more than $12,000.

As Italy magazine reports, use of the term "gelato" is not protected under Italian law. Neither does the law distinguish "artisanal gelato" from mass-produced gelato. The bill would change that.

"The bill rigorously defines what constitutes gelato and who can claim the title of artisan gelato-maker," Italy reports. "According to the bill, for gelato to be considered artisanal, it must be produced using high-quality ingredients and methods, and should not contain more than 30 percent of air, which artisanal producers achieve by mixing certain ingredients vigorously." Some of the bill's supporters claim mass-produced gelato can contain as much as 80 percent air.

As one might expect, pumping air into gelato gives the treat "a lighter, fluffier texture" and provides sellers with the opportunity to charge consumers less for the product. While the airier texture and lower price point may appeal to some consumers, supporters of the Italian bill are basically telling those people that their preferences are wrong.

In the United States, as I wrote last month, government-mandated food standards of identity, which rarely reflect dictionary definitions of the same food, often stifle innovation and competition. For those reasons, they're foisted on consumers by large food producers.

In the case of Italy, those in favor of the gelato standards are trying to protect smaller food producers. But the rationale for such legislation is cut from the same lousy cloth—protecting favored, incumbent interests.

What's more, consumers who want to buy artisanal gelato don't lack the means to find it. For example, over the years many writers have informed consumers how to distinguish between artisanal gelato and mass-produced gelato.

"Italian ice cream has always been one of the gastronomic symbols of our country, together with pasta and pizza," Senator Riccardo Nencini, one of the bill's sponsors, said.

Gelato has been an occasional source of controversy in Italy, where the desert was indeed invented (though it only later became popular when an Italian chef brought it to France).

In 2010, an Italian company's gelato ad depicting a pregnant nun was banned by British censors who claimed the ad was offensive to Catholics. In 2014, a magazine headline that sought to sexualize a government minister over the way she ate gelato caused a backlash. And in 2016, a writer for Rick Steves, the famed travel host and writer, reported on some rather absurd "gelato wars" taking place in Corniglia.

The current imbroglio over artisanal gelato is only the most recent Italian attack on food freedom. In 2017, I called out the nation over a host of new laws that indicated Italy was undermining its own food culture. Those new laws included crackdowns on food trucks and other street food, alcohol, frozen meals, food aromas, and purportedly "foreign" and "ethnic" foods. In that column, I lamented what I dubbed the country's "creeping food xenophobia" and cautioned that the country's "future as a culinary titan would seem to be in jeopardy." Now some lawmakers want to add gelato to that mix.

The potential Italian gelato ban comes as Romans are trying to wrap their heads around a new 24/7 pizza vending machine in the city.

While some are horrified by mechanized pizza, one Roman sees it differently, calling the gizmo "a friend of the market, not an enemy." Vending-machine pizza—just like airier gelato—is merely a choice, and one that should be protected.

NEXT: When the Government Makes Wildfires Worse

Editor's Note: We invite comments and request that they be civil and on-topic. We do not moderate or assume any responsibility for comments, which are owned by the readers who post them. Comments do not represent the views of Reason.com or Reason Foundation. We reserve the right to delete any comment for any reason at any time. Report abuses.

  1. If someone is making a different product (due to air content, other ingredients etc), why not actually call it something else? And if the customers actually desire that product more as the article implied, wouldn’t you want to differentiate your “better” less expensive product?

    1. Why would the air content make it a different product?

      1. It changes the texture and reduces the amount of the flavor ingredients received. It is typically sold by volume and not mass. I’m a caveat emptor consumer. I know when I buy US made parmesan it isn’t really parmesan. But I’m not in Italy buying fake parmesan that is labeled as the real deal.
        Given they never quantified exactly how much air gelato should contain, this is a means to address that.

        1. Like you can discern what is and is not real parmesan and make a decision on what you’re willing to accept – then give the Italians the benefit of the doubt that they can also do the same thing with gelato.

          1. Sᴛᴀʀᴛ ᴡᴏʀᴋɪɴɢ ғʀᴏᴍ ʜᴏᴍᴇ! Gʀᴇᴀᴛ ᴊᴏʙ ғᴏʀ sᴛᴜᴅᴇɴᴛs, sᴛᴀʏ-ᴀᴛ-ʜᴏᴍᴇ ᴍᴏᴍs ᴏʀ ᴀɴʏᴏɴᴇ ɴᴇᴇᴅɪɴɢ ᴀɴ ᴇxᴛʀᴀ ɪɴᴄᴏᴍᴇ… Yᴏᴜ ᴏɴʟʏ ɴᴇᴇᴅ ᴀ ᴄᴏᴍᴘᴜᴛᴇʀ ᴀɴᴅ ᴀ ʀᴇʟɪᴀʙʟᴇ ɪɴᴛᴇʀɴᴇᴛ vgt ᴄᴏɴɴᴇᴄᴛɪᴏɴ… Mᴀᴋᴇ $90 ʜᴏᴜʀʟʏ ᴀɴᴅ ᴜᴘ ᴛᴏ $12000 ᴀ ᴍᴏɴᴛʜ ʙʏ ғᴏʟʟᴏᴡɪɴɢ ʟɪɴᴋ ᴀᴛ ᴛʜᴇ ʙᴏᴛᴛᴏᴍ ᴀɴᴅ sɪɢɴɪɴɢ ᴜᴘ… Yᴏᴜ ᴄᴀɴ ʜᴀᴠᴇ ʏᴏᴜʀ ғɪʀsᴛ ᴄʜᴇᴄᴋ ʙʏ ᴛʜᴇ ᴇɴᴅ ᴏғ ᴛʜɪs ᴡᴇᴇᴋ,go to tech tab for work detail,………. READ MORE

            1. Making money online more than 15$ just by doing simple work from home. I have received $18376 last month. Its an easy and simple job to do and its earnings are much better than regular office job and even a little child can do this and earns money. Everybody must try this job by just use the info
              on this page…..VISIT HERE

        2. Who are the ‘they’ that are supposed to quantify this? Why do ‘they’ get to quantify this? Why do ‘they’ have this power?

        3. The producers that make artisanal gelato. They aren’t trying to prevent the high air content producers from using the word gelato. They are moving to differentiate their product.

          1. Except that they are trying to prevent that by limiting who can use the word.

            1. A different product should be able to be labeled as such.

              1. No one is stopping them from doing so.

                1. That is what they are trying. “Artisanal Gelato.”

                  1. Here is Job opportunity for everyone! Because of Corona Work from comfort of your home, on your computer And you can work with your own working hours. You can work this job As part time or As A full time job. You can Earns up to $1000 per Day by way of work is simple on the web.CMs It’s easy, just follow instructions on home page, read it carefully from start to finish Check The Details…… Click here

          2. Except there isn’t anything in the linked articles to suggest that the producers of artisanal gelato are pushing this, or even that they support it.

          3. Easier way to solve the problem. Mandate gelato be clearly labeled with average air content. Problem solved with no need to mandate names

        4. “Given they never quantified exactly how much air gelato should contain,”

          Why exactly does this need to be quantified by the government?

          1. Why does any word have a definition?

            1. As a percentage of all the words in the English language, how many of them have definitions fixed by the government by law such that no other definition may be used?

              The correct answer is somewhere between 1% and 0% and is probably closer to 0%.

            2. Why does any word get to be defined by government?

        5. They could start charging by weight not volume, like all the froyo places. Problem solved.

    2. “If someone is making a different product (due to air content, other ingredients etc), why not actually call it something else?

      I think gelato is that marketing term for a lot of Europeans and middlebrow foodies in the U.S. I think the air lets them make if for less by using less ingredients, but people will pay a premium for it because it’s called “gelato”. And so, people who aren’t doing the handmade stuff are calling it “gelato” so they can sell inferior stuff at a premium.

      That hurts the quality of gelato, generally, in the consumers’ minds and hurts people’s willingness to pay a premium for it in the future. If people think the crap gelato they get in the store is the premium stuff, they won’t go out and look for the premium stuff anymore.

      It’s harder for us to get our heads around this because even ice cream outfits that make custom stuff fresh on the spot when you order it, like Cold Stone Creamery, don’t try to differentiate their product as anything other than “ice cream”. If they tried to differentiate it as “gelato” or even “frozen custard”, a lot of Americans would avoid it thinking it would taste weird like frozen yogurt or something. They mostly just try to differentiate themselves with the brand name. Even when Ben & Jerry’s was selling ice cream out of a storefront packed by hand, they weren’t calling the product something else.

      1. I get what you’re saying but technically in the US you can’t differentiate your ice cream by calling it gelato simply because typical gelato, at 3%-3.5% milk fat, doesn’t meet the US legal definition of ice cream which must have at least 10% milk fat. If it does meet the legal definition of ice cream you might be able to call it “gelato style ice cream” but it would have to be clear that it was in fact ice cream.

        Likewise you couldn’t call it “frozen custard” unless it contained the required amount of egg yolk and complied with that legal definition. If you actually make “gelato” that doesn’t fit in one of the protected name buckets then you likely could call it gelato, gelano, gelafo, henry, or whatever you like.

        I’ll also point out that the US pretty much does the same thing in limiting how much air you can whip into ice cream but they do it by saying it must weigh no less than 4.5 lbs per gallon. Oh, that could be an out, call it gelato when it weighs less than that.

        https://www.accessdata.fda.gov/scripts/cdrh/cfdocs/cfcfr/CFRSearch.cfm?CFRPart=135

        1. I doubt they’d have differentiated their product by calling it gelato, even if it were perfectly legal. They want to be ice cream.

          If American consumers were paying a premium at a large enough scale for gelato or frozen custard, Ben and Jerry’s and Cold Stone Creamery would be making gelato and frozen custard.

          1. Exactly, it’s a more a marketing thing than anything else. Even though “mellorine” is a codified product, nobody wants it. Technically gelato is actually “ice milk” not “ice cream” and nobody in the US wants “ice milk” because it got a bad rep many years ago because it was basically swapping milk for cream in an ice cream recipe and it came out funky. Get a big enough ad campaign for gelato or frozen custard and it will get more popular in the US just like “Cinco de Mayo” and “St. Paddy’s day” were the result of ad pushes by big booze.

            I can see the ad campaign now, “gelato, the tastier, healthier, and slimming Mediterranean diet alternative to ice cream. More flavor with less fat.”

    3. Because these things evolve, not just arrive fully-formed out of the ether.

      Someone made some changes to gelato. Someone else made some more changes.

      Where, *exactly* is the line between ‘gelato’ and ‘not-gelato’?

      IMO, wherever that line is, its not up to government to draw it short of clear and REAL established harms to people.

      Otherwise the market can sort it out.

      1. It’s the same issue as with same sex marriage: As long as government operates courts, and as long as people are allowed to bring cases to court, there will be a justiciable meaning to words like “spouse” and “gelato”. Therefore it will be government deciding that meaning in court one way or another. You think you can escape this, but nothing short of anomistic anarchy would allow you to do so.

        1. Yes and no. As long as some lobbyist presses legislators the courts need to stick their nose in. A good court, regardless of operator, would simply say, ‘why do we give half a turd what the definition of “x” is? Go mind your own business and don’t bother us with trivia.’

          Unfortunately, we have a government that feels a need to insert itself into anything and everything no matter whether they really should or not. Get rid of the “married filing A/B” on tax returns and the rest of the shanty town silliness and suddenly nobody cares. Well, the lobbyists will strongly object to the loss of their preferential treatment but lots of states don’t care so why should the feds?

          1. When someone’s lawsuit is about whether person A is person B’s spouse, the court must decide what “spouse” means. That’s what the whole same-sex marriage issue is. How can you not see this?

            1. No, the court doesn’t need to decide if the term has no legal meaning. It only has legal meaning because some lobbyist demanded that the legislature give it one and the legislature complied when it should not have. If the government stopped treating married people different from single people there would be no reason for a lawsuit other than “bake me a cake” and the outcome would be exactly the same.

              1. I have a contract that says you need to bake me a cake. I sue you claiming that what you made was not a cake. Was it? That depends on the definition of “cake”. So the court has to decide on the definition of “cake” to rule on my lawsuit.

                1. The court will look at the contract between you and I to determine how the contract defined a cake. Presumably the contract would identify if the cake was to be red velvet, vanilla, etc. It would also likely include the size, the number of layers, and decoration. Few people would sign a contract not understanding what the terms were.

                  If for some bizarre reason it wasn’t defined in the contract, the court would have to look at the product and the dictionary and determine if the product fit the dictionary definition of a cake. If it fits the dictionary definition of a cake, it’s a cake. The court isn’t deciding on the definition of a cake, it’s deciding on whether the product fits a currently accepted definition of a cake.

                  As of now the major dictionaries define spouse as either “a married person, either husband or wife” or “a person’s husband or wife”. Feel free to look up married, husband, and wife. I checked Oxford, Merriam Webster, and Cambridge dictionaries and it seems pretty cut and dry. All of which is moot since in the end you’d never even have standing to sue me on the basis of my “spouse”?

        2. Except that there’s no one threatening me with a 12k fine and/or, you know, *death* for calling someone a spouse even if it doesn’t meet the ‘government definition’.

          Even with the government providing *a* definition fora word – that doesn’t mean that that is the *only* definition.

    4. This is a market issue, not a government issue. A few producers are no doubt lobbying the government to make such changes because they are too lazy or cheap to actually brand their products as being superior and they want the government to do it for them.

      This is actually an amazingly easy market fix. Forget the word, “artisanal”, copyright some derivative of the word and license the use of it out under contract to companies that produce the minimum standard. The market would figure this out quickly, freeze out competitors, and solve the problem without a gelato commission, government monitoring, etc. If someone borrows your copyright or violates the standards contract, you just sue them in civil court and otherwise keep the bureaucrats out of it.

      1. You’re looking for trademark, not copyright. You can’t copyright a word or short phrase.

    5. Passing off a different product by mislabeling (misnaming) it is fraud. Better or worse, is subjective, and irrelevant. Fraud is violence, even if indirectly. It tricks people into parting with their money, thereby transferring value immorally.

  2. Why do you persist in treating legal standards of identity as a ban on using anything other than a particular name on something? This is just about what you can sell labeled as gelato. It doesn’t say you can’t sell ice cream made by other standards, yet you couch it that way. This measure may or may not be just or wise in detail, but it’s not the freedom issue you treat it as.

    1. Because government doesn’t get to freeze language like that. All words have cultural meanings that change. “Gay” used to mean happy, then it meant homosexual, then it meant unfashionable. Would you want government to ban these changes?

      1. I’d rather have them freeze the language than to allow the meanings of words to fall to the sovereign and its cronies, as has happened to words like “dollar”.

        1. Wait, you want the ‘sovereign’ to not have control of language by giving the ‘sovereign’ total control of language?

          1. I want legal precedents that people can rely on.

      2. I think that’s only an English thing. English is a contextual language where what you’re talking about changes the meaning of the word. Most languages aren’t like that. English has a lot of homonyms.

        1. Actually, very few languages are prescriptive. French, for example. It even has a government agency defining what ‘French’ is.

          Italian does not.

          In fact, ‘Italian’ is itself very loosely defined. Italy is even less homogeneous and culturally unified a country than the US is.

          Its part of why they rarely can get through two whole years with a government in office.

    2. No variants allowed!

    3. Why do we need a ban on selling things that are gelato adjacent under the label ‘gelato’?

      Are we to go back to the days when it was illegal to dye margarine yellow?

      Does milk made from nuts actually cause you confusion at the market?

      Is the distinction between jelly, preserves, and jam really so important that it needs legal protection?

      1. I believe the push is not banning “ubiquitous” gelato but creating a differentiated product that meets specific, additional requirements.

        1. The product is already differentiated. Consumers don’t seem to have a problem with it.

          And its not really a different product.

          You guys are seizing on one detail – sometimes the air content is different (and its always differered between gelato makers anyway) – and ignoring that what’s really happening here is that some people are taking gelato and experimenting with it. Making changes.

          That doesn’t make it not gelato.

          1. If it is differentiated why can’t the people label it as differentiated? And if the air content is too high it can’t be called artisanal gelato. But can be called gelato. But if it is rice pudding it can’t be called gelato. Because it isn’t.

      2. Don’t you see a difference between having a standard of identity for a product like margarine and not allowing yellow margarine to be sold? One is about what you can legally call something you’re selling, the other is about what you can sell. Entirely different things.

        1. No. I do not.

          Would not white margarine be part of enforcing that standard of identity? It used to be. That was the whole rationale behind the ban on dying margarine yellow – consumers would confuse it with butter.

          And they were right. How many times do you go to the store and grab margarine when you intended to get butter. And then you died.

          1. No, it didn’t. There was no legal standard of identity on margarine. There were dairy interests that wanted the margarine that was sold (its name didn’t matter) to not resemble butter. If it was dyed yellow, it couldn’t be sold in those states regardless of what name it was sold under. That’s not a standard of identity, that’s a prohibition.

            1. In the old days, according to my Uncle, margarine came with separate yellow dye packets for those who wanted the buttery color.

  3. Gotta love the 21st century, when a dude with a dick can call himself a fairy princess (with government support), but food labels are tightly regulated.

  4. Big (and not good) news: one of the biggest promoters of the “Steele Dossier” fiction named Susan Hennessey is being given a plum job in the Deep State.

    https://www.wsj.com/articles/the-justice-departments-resident-conspiracist-11620944310?mod=djemalertNEWS

    Before QAnon, there was that tinfoil-hat document called the Steele dossier. It read like the world’s worst spy novel—secret meetings, perverted sexual acts, bribes, blackmail, cutouts—but Ms. Hennessey and her fellow Lawfare contributors lapped it up and played a central role in building and promoting the Russia-collusion fiction. Ms. Hennessey’s history as a National Security Agency lawyer gave credibility to the craziness.

    Reminder: to this day, Reason has never so much as one time acknowledged that the Steele Dossier was a complete fiction cooked up by Obama, Hillary, and their Deep State consiglieres.

    1. Or acknowledged it was a much greater election affect of a foreigner than trump russia and 100k in ads.

  5. Italy Moves to Protect ‘Artisanal Gelato’

    How the Hell can it be ‘Artesanal’ if you can’t take at least some artistic license?

    Italy’s desire to impose “standards of identity” threatens the food freedom of eaters.

    You know who else was obsessed with “standards of identity?”

    1. O , what a world, of profit and delight, awaits the studious artisan.
      Artisanal pontificators get by with less hot air than commercial pundits.
      Reason editors seem to balk at at 30%, while Fox insists on 70% at a minimum, and can run into the high 90’s in Carlson-Coulter duets.

      1. And artisanal listeners try to hermetically seal out all the hot air or air condition it. 🙂

  6. The best parallel in the American consumer market is probably the term “organic”, which originally meant they weren’t using pesticides, herbicide, etc., came to mean that they weren’t using GMO crops or Monsanto’s Roundup, and eventually came to mean that 85% of it was “organic” by whatever standard the major food producers lobbied for when they invaded the market and watered down the “organic” standard to chase the premium small producers were commanding for selling “organic” produce.

    If you were operating a truly organic farm because the only way you could survive was to differentiate your product by being truly organic–and being able to charge a vast premium for it–you’d be seriously pissed if the big conglomerates came in and watered down the standard of “organic”, by which you differentiated your product from theirs. It came to a point where consumers were no longer willing to pay such a big premium for truly organic produce anymore because consumers couldn’t differentiate between truly organic produce from the conglomerates’ “organic” produce anymore. Meanwhile, the big conglomerates can mass produce crap “organic” at scale and severely undercut the small guys doing everything by hand on price.

    They’re destroying the basis for the premium people get for differentiating their products as “gelato” or “organic”, which doesn’t mean the conglomerates shouldn’t be free to debase the means by which consumers differentiate your product from theirs, but it’s easy to understand why the little guys would be pissed off about it. What they need to do is differentiate their brand rather than differentiate their product category.

    People pay a premium for Amy’s organic products, for instance, and to some extent, they still do it because Amy’s products are supposedly “organic”, but I always look for Amy’s name brand. Starbucks did the same thing with coffee. They didn’t call their coffee something else to differentiate it from the 25 cent crap coffee most Americans bought at 7-11 when Starbucks started. Starbucks just associated the quality of their coffee with their name brand rather than create a new product category name.

    1. There were never any ‘truly organic’ producers though.

      Its always been a work in flux – even by the ‘original’ users. Would you have supported a legal definition – backed by violence – way back when organic was a niche thing?

      Then small producers are getting hammered because of variations in methods? All during the time the very concept of ‘organic’ was being hammered out?

      Also, for a bunch of libertarians, a lot of you are really keen on government control of language.

      1. “There were never any ‘truly organic’ producers though.”

        Yes there were. They sold their product through mom and pop health food stores and at farmer’s markets.

        And I didn’t say I supported the government controlling the language. I explained why small organic producers are and would be pissed off about large producers destroying the way they differentiate their product lines, and I specifically said that doesn’t mean that larger producers shouldn’t be free to do exactly that–destroy the basis by which smaller producers differentiate their products.

        I then said that what the little guys should do is differentiate themselves by brand rather than by product category–and gave some specific examples.

        You might consider differentiating your personal brand by improving your reading comprehension skills.

        1. No, there never was a consistent definition of “organic”. Some meant no pesticides or fertilizers. Some allowed animal fertilizer. Some allowed importing aphid eaters. There were as any different definitions as the market allowed. Government screwed up their one definition, but most of the existing definitions were just as screwed up, only differently.

          1. This is absurd. I think maybe you guys started paying attention in the 90s or something.

            or·​gan·​ic | \ ȯr-ˈga-nik \
            Definition of organic (Entry 1 of 2)
            1a(1): of, relating to, yielding, or involving the use of food produced with the use of feed or fertilizer of plant or animal origin without employment of chemically formulated fertilizers, growth stimulants, antibiotics, or pesticides

            —-Merriam Webster

            https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/organic

            Organic farming existed before Silent Spring, but Carson popularized the idea, and organic produce became a nice seller in health food stores as an alternative to the home gardening, back to the earth movement of the early 1970s.

            “Hey farmer farmer
            Put away that DDT now
            Give me spots on my apples
            But leave me the birds and the bees
            Please!

            Don’t it always seem to go
            That you don’t know what you’ve got
            Till it’s gone?”

            —Joni Mitchell, year of our Lord, 1970.

            Even at my culturally conservative folks’ house, working in the garden after school was about teaching your kids to work hard, and everything we grew was organic. They didn’t need to use herbicides because I was free labor for weeding every day after school, and they didn’t use pesticides–so the bugs got their share and we got ours. Growing your own food is a pain in the ass, so if you could afford to buy it at a health food store, that was great–but it was expensive. It had to be grown on a very small scale.

            There was plenty of stuff that wasn’t truly organic despite the label back then, too, but people started shopping at health food stores and would pay a premium for stuff that wasn’t synthetic [was organic]–and that meant it didn’t use man-made chemicals (and had nothing to do with GMO–because GMO didn’t exist).

            Once the organic movement started really picking up steam, appealing to a broad swathe of American consumers, big companies wanted to get in on the action to chase that premium, but the whole reason they use chemicals is because you can’t grow anything on that kind of scale without GMO, pesticides, herbicides, etc. So they started watering down the definitions of organic so that they could use a certain amount of pesticide, herbicide, etc. in a certain percentage of the product–and still get the organic label.

            I maintain that the term “organic soybean oil” is absurd because you can’t make soybean oil edible for humans without using some serious synthetic chemicals.

            If organic no longer means that it’s free of synthetic chemicals in the average consumer’s mind, that’s a result of large companies corrupting the term for marketing purposes. You can absolutely tarnish a product category like that–it’s a tragedy of the commons kind of thing. Unlike brand names, no one owns “organic”, so if it’s in the best interests of other people to trash the product category, that’s what they do. That’s why I said they should rely on a brand name like “Amy’s” or “Starbucks”–because they can’t use your brand name like that. It belongs to you.

            Eventually what happens is that you can’t even claim your synthetic chemical free stuff is synthetic chemical free unless it’s certified by a governing body, whose primary concern is making sure that the big guys can dilute the name of the product category.

            They should be free to destroy the competition by appropriating their marketing terms! Rights are about people being free to do what they want so long as they don’t violate anyone else’s rights, and no one has a right to the marketing name of product category. If you want to protect your ability to differentiate yourself on quality, use a brand name.

            1. Once saw Elliott Coleman giving a talk about organic farming. He went into when it was first proposed that there would be a standard for “organic,” and he said it made him skeptical. He went on, “Once I found out that USDA was involved I knew it would be bad and didn’t want to have any part of it.” There was a USDA official in the audience.

    2. They’re destroying the basis for the premium people get for differentiating their products as “gelato”

      One thing you need to understand Ken is that this is Italy – its *all* gelato there. Its not particularly premium because THAT IS THEIR ICE CREAM. That’s their normal stuff. And its always varied greatly in quality. Just like ice cream here does.

      There aren’t people there in ‘ice cream shops’ that have a side section of ‘premium gelatos’. Its all gelato.

      And there seems to be an assumption that whatever these people are doing is making the quality *less* – after all, they’re putting AIR into it. So you’re getting less!!11111!!!

      But that’s not how it works. Its not about quantity, its about taste and mouth feel. More air is not reducing the quality – it can actually *increase it*.

      Which is why government intervention in industries the government knows nothing about should be opposed.

      1. 1) They’re differentiating between a definition of gelato that undercuts their market position. Obviously, something is and isn’t traditional gelato.

        2) Do you always pretend that people don’t have argument–even when they’re wrong, or is that only with gelato?

        Because explaining what Marxists, serial killers, and Nickelback fans think and why doesn’t mean you’re a Marxist, a serial killer, or a Nickelback fan. It just means that your criticisms of them are neither delusional nor poorly informed.

        Yes, Marxist think things–even if they’re wrong. And pointing out what they think and why doesn’t mean you agree with them. Is that a new idea for you?

        1. There is no ‘traditional gelato’ any more than there is ‘traditional ice cream’. Its always had a wide, wide variance in recipe.

        2. You’re not explaining what they’re thinking.

          These are Italians, in Italy. They don’t have an American definition of gelato. Its not a ‘premium’ thing over there.

          And you’re reversing who’s doing what here.

          Its not gelato makers that are forcing this. Its goverment forcing it on gelato makers. Because government is trying to protect what they see as a tradition against people making modern updates to a product.

          1. As such, I can only assume that these are *your* justification as it doesn’t make sense for Italians, in Italy, to have them.

    3. When I was taught Biology, I was taught that Organic Matter was Carbon-based. (Carbon is the nub of the jist because it is the Element that Hydrogen, Oxygen, and Nitrogen bond around to form amino acids, the basis of all living things.)

      So, if people want to know if something is Organic, all they have to do is use Dr. “Bones'” Tri-Corder from off of Star Trek and problem solved.

      1. Apparently its ok to coopt the meaning of ‘organic’ but its not ok to modify a food product and use the same name.

        1. It’s food-bourne hallucinations all around and all the way down.

        2. There is also the Howard Stern definition of Organic: “Let’s tell people we didn’t spray this shit, then charge them more for it.” 🙂

  7. Biden is driving the American economy in the ground.

    Sure am glad Linnekin is on the job of saving Italy from the Italians.

    Blanton’s is Bourbon.

    Jack Daniels is Tennessee Whiskey.

    Is that really so bad?

    1. Linneken is the weekend food columnist. Has Biden done anything food related recently?

      1. Never stop white knighting, White Knight.
        The DNC and Uncle Joe would be lost without you.

      2. I’m sure it involves use of a Quisinart, Vita-Mix, or whatever the latest Whopper-Chopper is now.

        1. Joe ain’t hanging out in the kitchen. He’s out in the driveway working on his Camarillo.

          1. Camaro

      3. The Biden regime has caused food prices to surge, if that’s what you mean.

        1. Well, there is that, but what I meant was that the mentally decayed may need their food processed for them.

    2. It’s not bad once you get as big as Jack Daniels.

  8. “Italian gelato sellers to use ingredients other than ‘milk and its derivatives,’ eggs, and fresh fruit.”

    Could you imagine having to live life as a vegan?

  9. Stupid Italians, trying to protect their cultural heritage. Why can’t they be more like the Americans and actively erase and destroy their cultural heritage?

    1. Vegan brownies should be called Frownies

      1. Frownies is a trademark name from an Eastern PA restaurant.

    2. Yes. They should remain locked in stasis so that American tourists can enjoy their quaint cafe culture.

      Just like Havana!

  10. What about artisanal mayonnaise?

    1. I’m currently selling artisanal mayonnaise at $15 a pint. It’s made from peanuts and the jar says “Skippy Peanut Butter” on the side, but that’s just what I call artisanal mayonnaise. It’s a free country, right? I can call my product whatever I like.

      1. You butter be able to call it whatever you like, even if it is more than margarineally different.

      2. Go ahead, but sales will suck.

      3. My vegan meat alternative contains .5% pork for flavor. It’s not on the label.

        1. Kosher and Halal compliant.

          1. True. Pork is Kosher compliant for rare survival situations.

            And pork is Halal compliant for purposes of Jihad and Taqqiyah. IIRC, Mohammed Atta was a pizza man at one point.

      4. Sure. Are you actually harming anyone?

  11. So call it something else and move on. I don’t care.

    1. This is important shit. Forget all the abuses in this country. Gelato must be protected at all costs.

      1. The problem is, “Progressives” in the U.S. rhapsodize and romanticize the Euro Control-Freak Nanny States. (Hell, it’s the only thing European they really like.) So Corporatist/Welfare Statist//Fascist/Socialist Gelato may be coming to a city near you!

  12. In a world where illegal aliens are now migrants, we must have strict controls on gelato.

  13. “Greenest Governor in America”, who ran what was probably the most failed presidential campaign ever, literally polling below “other” in a field of Democratic candidates, vetoed an electric vehicle mandate.

    A 2030 legislative goal for ending sales of gasoline and diesel passenger vehicles in Washington has died at the desk of Gov. Jay Inslee.

    The measure, due to a Senate amendment, could only take effect once lawmakers approved a road user fee for most state vehicles. Inslee embraces the 2030 target, but does not think its fate should be tied to movement on another front.

  14. If they start outlawing air-whipped gelato, that is going to be a damn mess!

    Air-whipped gelato will become a black-market commodity with no quality control!

    Some jerk will start whipping Gelato with Nitrus Oxide, Chlorophyll, fart gas, or Mustard Gas!

    Dumbasses will be huffing Tutti-Fruitti Tooey-Flavored gelato and end up dead!

    The gelato bootleggers will be making it in uninspected basement operations and end up asphixiating everyone in the apartment!

    Sicilian Mafia “Good Humor Men” will do drive-by shootings on Italian Mafia gelato parlors over gelato turf!

    Simone’s best friend’s sister’s boyfriend’s brother’s girlfriend will hear from this guy who knows this kid who’s going with the girl who saw Ferris pass out at 31 Flavors gelato bistro last night.

    Then I guess it’ll get really serious.

    It doesn’t take five minutes for a libertarian to see where this leads.

    1. As a libertarian, I am for private sector gelato certification.

      1. All well and good, but the product still has to be legalized and anyone harmed by food poisoning, etc. should have legal recourse. “Who watches the Watchmen” and all that.

  15. They call it Shitaly for a reason.

    1. Just like it’s the United Shithole of America for a reason.

      Vaffanculo.

  16. So I can shit in a bucket and sell it as gelato because definitions don’t matter?

    1. Only sqrlsy would buy it.

    2. Sure, but if you do so earnestly and actually succeed in duping some sap into buying it very unlikely), then you’ll most likely be faced with multiple criminal and civil charges of fraud and endangerment.

      Point is, there doesn’t seem to be much need for further government involvement (or initiation of force, if you will) in the control of language.

  17. LOL is it a slow news day or something? Nothing to talk about out there?

    1. Linneken writes an article every weekend about some food-related story with a libertarian angle.

      The Reason staff pretty much doesn’t work on weekends.

      1. Because news also takes weekends off!

        If you can’t be bothered to write on weekends, maybe find a new job.

        1. It wasn’t like POTUS was going to have a press conference.

  18. I’m mostly concerned about the infredient restrictions.

    Like sure, someone who creates a different product can be forced to all it something else. But if I have a strawberry Gelato, and I add some chocolate to it … suddenly its no long Gelato, and I can’t call it that?

    A similar example would be the German beer law … it did protect the identity of German beer, at the expense of a ton of innovation that has occurred in the US and elsewhere, and now US craft beers rival that of German beers.

    Yeah yeah you can market those innovations as something else besides beer but … its beer. So long as people know whats in it, it meets the definition as people understand it.

  19. I’m super surprised “gelato” didn’t already have a legal definition.

  20. There is a place up in Burbank called “YOGA-URT”; they make frozen yogurt with almond and cashew milk; unlike oat and rice milk, this stuff is rich, creamy and delicious, as almonds and cashews are loaded with fat. But they cannot call it yogurt, so they throw in the extra “A”. The name is perfect for marketing anyway, as a lot of vegans practice yoga.

    1. Is the business inside a yurt?

  21. “While the airier texture and lower price point may appeal to some consumers, supporters of the Italian bill are basically telling those people that their preferences are wrong.” No not at all. Have whatever preference you want. But the person you buy from, shouldn’t be able to sell whipped cream and call it ice cream.

  22. I’m betting this is the stumbling block–

    make it illegal for Italian gelato sellers to use ingredients other than ‘milk and its derivatives,’ eggs, and fresh fruit.”

    Not air, not ‘freezing time’–but instead, the usual suspects who want to call their amalgamations of ingredients designed to simulate gelato for those who faint in horror at the idea of eating foods made with animal products–but who desperately WANT them.

    And so, to accommodate these, transparency in packaging must be suspended lest the tender snowflakes have to eat ‘industrial product made to imitate meat’ or ‘factory confections flavored to taste like ice cream’.

Please to post comments

Comments are closed.