March 08, 2010
We love ice cream. We do. But one bite of ultra-rich and creamy gelato turned our tastebuds forever.
When we were in Italy, if we felt tired or frustrated because we were the clueless Americans, we headed straight for the gelateria for a cup of happiness. Gelato - any flavor - makes everything all better. The perfect cure for every boo-boo or mishap.
Italian Notebook has more about the history of this wonderful treat.
Gelato of one kind or another has been popular in Italy for thousands of years. After the Civil War in the United States, Italian immigrants emerged in large cities as ice cream vendors called Hokey-Pokey Men.
The term "Hokey Pokey" presumably evolved from the Italian cry that the Italian vendors used as they hawked their cheap ice cream. "Ecco un poco" they’d cry (that’s Italian for “here’s a little”), or "O che poco" (Oh, how cheap). Hokey-pokey actually referred to cheap ice cream or ice milk.