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Italy Can Officially Say Everyone Loves Its Gelato

  • Country produced 6.8 billion scoops of ice cream last year
  • Italy leads in consumption of treat that dates to 16th century
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Photographer: Chris Warde-Jones/Bloomberg

Italy’s economy may be struggling as European Union rivals recover, but there’s one area where the country is an unrivaled leader: ice cream, as demand from sweet-toothed gelato lovers has made the country Europe’s top producer.

Italian ice cream makers whipped up 595 million liters (157 million gallons) of gelato last year, or 19 percent of total EU production, according to official statistics. That would work out to about 6.8 billion scoops of ice cream. Germany ranked second with 515 million liters.