World’s Best Gelato: Vancouver man wins international gelato competition in Italy

Sheryl Nadler
Shine On
July 6, 2012

A Vancouver man, who previously attended a prestigious gelato university in Italy, has walked off with the top prize in an international gelato-making competition held in the very country that created the sweet treat, reports the Huffington Post. And he did it by staying true to his Canadian roots.

James Coleridge, who owns the Bella Gelateria in Vancouver, took first place with his toasted pecan, Maldon sea salt, and Quebec maple syrup concoction in this year's Florence Gelato Festival, reports the Vancouver Sun. Thirty gelato-makers — some of them third-generation — competed in the contest that attracted close to 200,000 fans.

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So how did a Canadian beat out gelato-makers whose families have been steeped in its tradition for generations? For one, he learned from the masters themselves, by spending a year studying at the Carpigiano Gelato University in Italy. Coleridge also says his process is very old-school, and that he respects the traditional, slow practice of hand-making gelato in small batches.

"I flew my Canadian flag with great pride in my booth," he tells the Vancouver Sun. "A lot of people from Brazil to Tel Aviv are shocked that a Canadian can go to Italy and win it."

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But Coleridge isn't the first Canadian to win an ice cream-related competition using unusual flavours from home. Montreal native Bob Blumer, host of the Food Network's The Surreal Gourmet and Glutton for Punishment, won the Austin Ice Cream Festival in 2009 with his Bacon Maple Crunch ice cream.

And Cows Creamery in Prince Edward Island boasts about being crowned best ice cream by Reader's Digest magazine and Taulk World Travel.

Check out the video below about a California restaurant that's created a burger out of ground bacon. Delish or disgusting?

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