How Italians Sold Ice Cream To The Masses In Vienna
Vienna, Aug 1 (UrduPoint / Pakistan Point News - 1st Aug, 2021 ) :Residents of the Austrian capital have queued for more than 130 years to sample the Italian ice cream of the Molin-Pradel family, one of Vienna's oldest gelato dynasties.
"He helped democratise ice cream, which before was reserved for the wealthy," Silvio Molin-Pradel says of his great-great-grandfather Arcangelo, who began selling it out of pushcarts in Vienna in 1886.
The high cost of sugar, milk and refrigeration -- years before electric freezing was invented -- meant ice cream was long reserved for aristocrats.
But ingenious Italians like the Molin-Pradels changed that, producing ice cream based on water and fruit extract.
- Ice cream migration - Originally from Zoldo, six hours from Vienna by car these days, the Molin-Pradels, like other families, were so poor that migrating for seasonal work was part of life -- whether to work as seafarers, lumberjacks or ice cream makers.
The Italian migrants' "frozen stuff" as some called it quickly became popular with ordinary Viennese.
This sparked the ire of Austrian bakers, who perceived them as "dangerous competition", Moehring says.
"The Viennese were already used to sweets... so it wasn't hard to then serve this cold product," Molin-Pradel, who keeps his recipes a secret, tells AFP as he stands in the back of his salon at Schwedenplatz.
"Every Viennese will tell you that 'their' Italian ice cream maker is better," says Molin-Pradel.
- Lasting tradition - Out of roughly 370 ice cream shops in Austria, about 40 are still run by Italians in the small Alpine nation of almost nine million people, according to the Austrian Economic Chamber.
Its data also show that Austria boasts an average per capita consumption of more than 60 scoops per year, or about eight litres of ice cream -- more than in Italy, with an average consumption of six litres.
From one generation to the next, the gelato makers' skills and knowledge were passed on, "which explains their success", Moehring says.
Even today, Pradel-Molin goes on a pilgrimage to his ancestral home of Zoldo at the end of each season.
It's still his source of inspiration to keep up with the latest flavours and other industry secrets, he says.