A display of Gelato:
Let me first give you the answer: NO it's not the same thing, and I'll tell you why :-)
One of my favorite things in the whole world is Ice Cream. At least that’s what I thought until I went to Italy for the first time in 2001 and tasted Italian Gelato! I was so impressed on how many Gelato places there where in every city, and how “normal” it was for Italians, all ages represented, to eat it 1-2 times a day! I thought I’d gotten to Ice Cream heaven with all those flavors (usually every Gelato place has at least 20 or more flavors!). As you can probably guess, I eat a lot of Gelato when I’m in Italy… but of course being a girl, I eat it with a little bit of bad conscious on how it will affect my figure when the vacation feast is over :-)
So, as I’m soon of to my 4 weeks’ vacation in Italy, I thought I’d to a little Gelato research.
It is very common throughout the world for the word gelato to be translated into English and other languages as Ice Cream or its local equivalent. However, it must be noted that there are three major differences differences between Gelato and Ice Cream.
First, gelato has significantly less butterfat than ice cream's typical 18 and 26 percent. Actually, most of the flavors of Gelato have less than 10 percent butterfat! However, less fat does not mean less taste. Consequently, gelato provides a greater flavor experience because there is less fat that coats the tongue which means more flavor per spoonful. With the lower butterfat content, gelato is less solidly frozen than ice cream and melts in the mouth faster. Therefore, the customer will taste gelato’s full flavor immediately. Not to mention fewer calories to burn!
Second, gelato has a much higher density than ice cream. Ice cream is produced by mixing cream, milk and sugar, then adding air. Manufacturers add air to ice cream because it nearly doubles the quantity of their product. But, it cuts their quality in half. No air is added to Gelato. The result is a higher quality dessert with a richer, creamier taste.
Third, gelato is served slightly warmer than ice cream. While both gelato and ice cream are served well below the freezing temperature of 32 degrees Fahrenheit, gelato is served 10 to 15 degrees warmer than ice cream. This affects the flavor experience because the taste buds are more alive since the temperature is not so cold as to dull their sensitivity.
Ice cream is made in large industrial batches, uses ingredients designed for lengthy storage, has limited flavors, and is stocked for sale in supermarkets.
Authentic Italian gelato, on the other hand, is produced fresh every day in relatively small quantities, is sold directly to the public, and is available in a large number of flavors - usually based on fresh ingredients that make the gelato creamy and colorful.It is therefore correct to maintain a clear distinction between the two products, even linguistically.
And with that, I’m going to enjoy my vacation in Italy and eat my daily Gelato with a good conscious!! And my favorite flavors are Coco and Cherry :-)
One Gelato is good, but....
two are better!!!