So, what is the difference between ice cream and gelato?!

So, exactly what is the difference between ice cream and Italian gelato?!

For those of you thinking that gelato is simply the Italian for ice cream, yes – you’re right! However, they are also two subtly different desserts. But exactly what is the difference between ice cream and Italian gelato?!

Ask this question to any Italian and you’ll probably be met by a look that says, “seriously, you don’t know?!” You see, to an Italian, ice cream and gelato are two completely different things, but the differences are all in the details and the line between gelato and ice cream is often blurred.

In a nutshell, gelato is normally denser and milkier, with a soft and elastic texture, while ice cream tends to be richer and creamier. Not satisfied with that answer? Fear not! Bellarome have delved a little deeper for you and we’ve come up with three specific differences…

  1. Great news for dieters: gelato has less fat than ice cream! Why? Well, ice cream, as the name suggests, is normally made with more cream and consequently has a fat content of at least 10%, while gelato uses more milk than cream and generally uses less egg yolks too (if any), resulting in only about 5% fat.
  2. Fast and furious: another important difference is in the churning. Ice cream is churned faster and harder than gelato so that it increases in volume by as much as 90% (frantic churning = the incorporation of more air). This results in the fluffy texture characteristic of ice cream. Gelato, on the other hand, is churned at a much slower pace giving it a denser and arguably more flavourful texture. If you want the stats, ice cream is typically 50% air, while gelato is about 25% air. Hmmm, these are sounding more and more like health foods…
  3. An exact science: the temperature at which gelato is served also sets it apart from ice cream. While ice cream is best served at about 10 °F (or -12 °C), gelato needs to be a little warmer to avoid breaking your teeth and is typically served at around 25 °F (or -4 °C).

If you’re still not satisfied with these answers then the only thing to do is taste-test gelato for yourself in beautiful Italy. Check out our package deals and beach holidays to the popular destinations!

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