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4 differences between Italian gelato and ice cream

After pizza, Italian gelato is perhaps the most loved food by foreigners, but also by Italians themselves. We all tend to translate gelato with ice cream. Not everyone knows that there are substantial differences between the two products. The origins of gelato are lost in the mists of time, but it is known that it was in 1870 that in the United States it developed as a production on an industrial scale. Let’s try to discover them together.

1. The amount of fat

Italian gelato could be considered as a kind of macro category that also includes creams and sorbets. The sorbets, as mentioned in another article, are composed of water and use the fats of dried fruit. It should also be specified that the creams, what we commonly call gelato, also have a fat component of animal origin, but which never exceeds 8%. The ice cream, according to the regulations of the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), has a higher fat content. In fact, it cannot go below 10% of animal fats: in fact, as the name implies, there is cream. It could therefore be said that Italian gelato makes you fat less because it has a lower fat content.

2. The production method

The production method is also different. The ice cream is produced in large quantities on an industrial level that need to be stored longer before reaching the consumer. One of the main features of this manufacturing process is deep-freezing in a large tunnel through which the ice cream increases in volume. In fact, according to the law, it is possible to incorporate air up to 100% of its weight. This allows the ice cream to melt more slowly. For this reason it can be stored for a long time and then sold. Homemade gelato is usually created in the laboratories near the gelateria, therefore it is a fresh food. It must be consumed in a few days because it cannot be stored for a long time. It is less fluffy as it does not incorporate much air, but has a more compact and denser appearance, full of flavor.

3. The temperature

The temperature at which they are served is still different. The Italian gelato is served at a temperature a few degrees lower than the ice cream. This helps to savor better the taste understanding the flavors more easily. The ice cream, on the other hand, is stored as if it is frozen food. This involves the addition of preservatives that are not present in Italian gelato. Therefore, homemade gelato does not crystallize as it is produced with the batch freezer, a machine that works at -12 °, then passes into the counter. The ice cream, on the other hand, is produced in continuous freezers with continuous freezing, therefore it crystallizes.

4. The raw materials

The key feature that really makes the difference between Italian gelato and ice cream is the use of fresh raw materials. For the ice cream, in fact, milk powder is rehydrated on the spot. The Italian gelato, instead, is made with milk and fresh cream. It therefore represents a more genuine food.

Although you often find yourself translating the word gelato into English, after this article you can see the differences between the two products. In our gelato classes, it is our point of honor to teach the difference between the two products and to let customers try the true taste of the raw materials. This year we wanted to enrich our cooking class booklet by combining the passion for pizza and pasta with that of gelato. Choose the class that best suits your tastes and let yourself be enchanted by the authenticity of Italian food.

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