One thing is certain, properly crafted gelato can be one of the most delicious sensory experiences known in the desert world. My love for gelato came from many trips to Italy while working as a technology executive.
Italians appreciate the love and thought that goes into all food. Italian coffee, food, and desserts are adored throughout the world. Gelato in Italian really just means frozen. In America, when we hear the word “Gelato” we think of traditional Italian ice cream. Gelato is lower in sugar and fat than it’s Americanized ice cream counterparts. The characteristic smooth creamy taste is due to its lower air incorporation, fresh ingredients, and most cases, daily on-site production.
Made with similar ingredients to ice cream
It’s true, gelato is made from many of the same ingredients as ice cream. There are three major differences, well there are more than that, but we can just focus on the three main ones.
Lower in fat
In America, to be called “Ice Cream” the end product must contain at least 10% fat. Most commercial ice cream products are between 12% and 18% fat, sometimes even more. Gelato on the other hand is between 6% and 8% fat. The science that goes into those beautiful gelato pans allows for the lower fat product to explode onto the pallet with a burst of fresh authentic flavor. Ever eat a few bites of ice cream and loose the flavor after bite three? That’s because the fat has coated your tongue blocking your ability to taste the flavor. All that remains is the taste of cold and sweet. One should not need a drink of water every third bite to enjoy a frozen treat. Gelato flavors delight with the first bite and the last. ENJOY!
Less air than ice cream
The process of freezing gelato is exactly the same as ice cream except for the amount of air that is worked into the end product. Ice cream industry folks call this overrun. Gelato shops must use specialized machines specifically designed to produce this type of product. The resulting gelato is noticeably more dense than traditional ice cream. That big giant scoop you get from an ice cream shop has significantly more air incorporated when the product is frozen. Like the Itialians, we say less air, less fat, and more flavor please!
Authentic Gelato is meant to be produced and then consumed. Flavors are made with fresh ingredients and produced on-site. There are no unnecessary preservatives or additives. That peach flavor is coming from peaches. Strawberry: the best strawberry flavor is actual strawberries. Commitment to freshness and quality is the cornerstone of a great gelato shop. Fresh is best!