As the Florence Gelato Festival is starting today, let me tell you that Florence played a very important role in the history of the gelato. It seems that in the XVI th century the Medici family organised a competitions among cooks with the subject “the most unusual dish”. A fellow by the name of Ruggeri participated with a kind of sorbet: the commission felt in love and the whole region was conquered by it. When Caterina de’ Medici went to France to get married with the king Henry II, she wanted Ruggeri to accompany her. His secret recipe of his gelato was a success, but he had to face the envious French cooks…at the end Ruggeri decided to come back home and lead a more peaceful life, but before he left France he gave Caterina a letter which included his secret recipe: the gelato conquered France! Later an artist with the passion for cooking, Bernardo Buontalenti, was encharged of the court banquets. He projected a special ‘machine’ that lead to freezing and so to the making of a gelato that he probably made using snow, salt, lemons, sugar, egg white and milk…The so called Crema Fiorentina (Florentine Cream, still served in our ‘gelaterie’!) or Buontalenti Cream was born!