Hundreds of years ago, the indigenous people of Ecuador would climb to the top of the inactive ‘Imbabura’ volcano and come down with blocks of ice and ‘frailejon’ or paramo straw. Then they would lay a bronze pot, called a paila, in a bed of the straw. After crushing the ice, they would mix it with natural fruit juice and then stir the mixture in the paila with a wooden spoon until it became a rich, creamy consistency. They had created gelato. Ramón Riofrio was taught this special culinary skill when he was just 12 years old from his grandfather. Ramón found a way to use today’s technology to help him make the same delicious gelato at his Matthews, NC gelato shop, Artisen.