If you love ice cream, prepare to find something which is going to totally one up your favourite snack. We are of course talking about gelato.
Many people wrongly confuse the two, but gelato and ice cream are totally different from one another. Many people think that Italian gelato is a million times better than any type of ice cream or other dessert in the world, and it’s unlikely that they’re going to be far wrong too!
When walking the streets of Italy, you will see gelato stores and carts everywhere, and there will be a million different flavours (or so it will seem) to try. Gelato is a way of life in Italy, a little like coffee, pizza, and pasta is. Put simply, gelato is divine, and it is not just ice cream!
So, what is the difference between ice cream and gelato? Ice cream is fluffy and can be heavy, whereas gelato is light and has a more intense type of flavour. It is that basic fact that makes it so amazing.
Ice cream is made of milk, sugar, cream and egg yolks, which is combined and frozen. That is the basic explanation, although of course it is more complicated than that. Churning of the ice cream is done at a high speed, to make it heavier, ad make its volume higher. On the other hand, gelato has a similar base to ice cream, but it is churned much more slowly, and sometimes doesn’t even contain eggs. This means that gelato is lighter and less dense than regular ice cream, and is often served slightly warmer than ice cream is. Overall, this makes it softer, and gives it that smooth taste.
The slower churning allows the flavour of the gelato to come to the front of your palate, rather than be stuck somewhere in the middle of ‘oh this is cold’! Whilst ‘gelato’ is the Italian word for ice cream, it is therefore much different in taste, texture, and experience.
Of course, there is no hard and fast rule on how you should eat your gelato, it all comes down to personal preference. Some like gelato in a cone, some enjoy it in a dish, perhaps combining a couple of flavours which compliment each other, and others like to have it as a side dish with another type of dessert. For most people however, gelato doesn’t need to be combined with anything else, because it’s wonder and delicacy really shines through on its own.