Having earned his place in the Gelato Festival World Ranking’s Hall of Fame, gelato master Eugenio Morrone knows what it takes to make the best Italian ice cream. Earlier this year, he guided the juniors to victory in the World Pastry Championship at SIGEP, where he proudly managed the Italian teams. We spoke with Morrone at the renowned dolce, gelato and coffee event, which took place at Fiera di Rimini from January 20-25, 2023, to hear about his rise to the top and what’s trending in gelato.
What encouraged you to pursue a career in gelato?
I have always loved being in contact with the people. My career began at a young age. I was making lemon granita at 14. Attending SIGEP over the years and being exposed to the world of gelato stimulated my interest. In my case, this deep passion has evolved into a job, and I’m happy because you should always do what you enjoy. If you put passion into things, you can achieve anything in life. It is also important to keep up to date with the latest trends and innovations.
Why did you focus on gelato rather than pastry?
I was fascinated by the process of hot cream turning cold. As we work with a substance that’s below freezing point and have limited ingredients available to us, creating a standout product isn’t easy at all.
What are the latest trends in artisanal gelato?
In Italy, in particular, customers like to know what they are consuming. Sugar is essential in gelato because, besides providing sweetness, it acts as an antifreeze. However, the World Health Organization has recommended reducing sugar because excessive too much is bad for you, so we are certainly moving towards a reduction in sugar and a higher fiber content in the future.
What can we expect to see in the market in 2023?
Consumers have been looking for lactose-free gelato for several years now, and we have been making it for a long time. In gelato parlors, sorbets are already milk or milk-derivative free. People are more informed and want to know what ingredients the gelato contains. They see how much work goes into making it. At SIGEP 2023, we made some very special gelatos, such as fuji apple, cinnamon with sultanas soaked in marsala and roasted pine nuts, and a mandarin sorbet with a low-sugar content.
You are in the gelato hall of fame. Do you feel a sense of responsibility toward the younger generation?
I feel responsible, but I think it’s normal. Authenticity is what people like best. I’m not a magician; my professional ethics have allowed me to be completely transparent with consumers. The list of ingredients is always close at hand in my gelato parlor, and I have always produced simple, well-made things. That is my secret: making simple gelato. Always serving customers helps me understand what they want.
What are your plans for the future?
I am setting up a centralized workshop to overcome the energy crisis. Moreover, I am always concerned about environmental sustainability — I bought a water economizer — and continue to look for ways to improve my work.