Can you safely find gelato in Italy with food allergies? This question comes up frequently with clients and it is not a simple answer.
There are many factors to consider and each gelateria is different. Some understand cross contact but many don’t. It is also not usually clear how the gelato is processed and machines cleaned in between flavors.
Although my considerations below are focused on peanut and tree nut allergies, many of them also apply to other food allergies.
What I consider when ordering gelato:
🍨 If I see that there are lots of loose containers of nuts on counters or cone displays with peanuts around the top, I don’t usually risk it because of potential cross contact.
🍨 I try to avoid gelaterias that don’t have individual scoops in each flavor container.
🍨 I stick to fruit flavors only and I look for a gelateria where the fruit flavors are separated from the other flavors. I’ve never found safe chocolate in Italy and I do not trust any chocolate flavors.
🍨 I explain my allergies and ask if they can scoop it from the clean area of the gelato that hasn’t been touched or to scoop underneath the top layer.
🍨 I trust my gut and if it doesn’t feel right, I don’t eat it.