Enrollment Up at "Gelato U"

Enrollment Up at "Gelato U"

Food & Drink

Enrollment Up at "Gelato U"

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By Cari Martens

If you’ve ever vacationed in Italy and tasted the gelato there, you may have thought to yourself, ‘Yum! Where can I get this back home?’

Now, in these recessionary times, some people are taking it a step further. They’re attending Gelato U. in Bologna, Italy, with plans to bring this delectable dessert back to their home countries by starting a gelato business of their own.

Carpigiani Gelato University teaches would-be entrepreneurs ‘how to turn sacks of sugar and crates of oranges, kiwis, and lemons into spoonfuls of earthly bliss,’ writes Nina Burleigh in her report for TIME magazine. Although it’s said that gelato dates back to the ancient Egyptians, it’s been in the last half-century that Italians have designed machines that have really perfected gelato. The better-than-ice-cream dessert often contains half the fat of typical American ice cream.

Photo: Michele Borzoni for TIME

For three weeks every month, a couple dozen or so students from around the world come to Bologna to learn the craft from a ‘gelato maestro.’ One reason: gelato is a major growth business worldwide. It’s one of those inexpensive indulgences people treat themselves to during tough economic times. It’s not a coincidence that enrollment for the week-long course at Gelato U is up 87% over last year, as Burleigh reports. Many of the students are 40-somethings looking for new career opportunities in the wake of the downturn.

Keep your eye out for new gelaterias opening soon in your neighborhood. I know I’m looking forward to one opening up in my neck of the woods. Hmmm. Maybe I need to do a little ‘research’ in Bologna.

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