The International Gelato Festival has held more than 60 events in Europe. This fall, the festival will be coming to the U.S. for the very first time. The festival will be hosting a three-day event in Scottsdale's Kierland Commons this weekend. The first scoop will be served at 2 p.m. on Friday, October 27.
Ten gelato makers will be competing in a battle royale to see whose frozen sweets are best.
Gelato artisans will be coming from across the U.S., including Austin, Texas; Florida; Portland, Oregon; and Charleston, South Carolina. All entrants will be small-scale craftsmen doing things the hard way. One of the purposes of the festival is to spread awareness of how good craft gelato can be through America.
Flavors will be imaginative.
We're talking strawberry-beet. Baklava. Bubblegum-lemon.
We're talking a cheesecake scoop laced with New Mexican green chiles.
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And we're talking pecan and cane sugar gelato with candied chicharron, served by Phoenix's own Tio Frio.
Various larger vendors and sponsors will be scooping gelato for those who want to try more than what entrants in the competition have churned. These options will be similarly bananas: Rocky Road, butterscotch, fior di latte cheese with olive oil, and so on. (Note: there will be dairy-free options.)
Tickets cost $15 for kids, $25 for adults, and $40 for two adults. Entry will get you a sample from each gelato artisan and sponsor. The winning flavor will be decided 50 percent by your vote, 50 percent by judge panel. Here's when you can get down to eating:
The International Gelato Festival (at Kierland Commons)
Friday from 2 to 8 p.m.; Saturday from noon to 7 p.m.; and Sunday from noon to 7 p.m.