What is Gelato?

Gelato is the Italian word for ice cream, derived from the Latin word for frozen. In English Gelato commonly refers to varieties of ice cream made in a traditional Italian style.


If Gelato is just the Italian word for ice cream, then is there really any difference between Gelato and ice cream? 

Despite their similarities, Gelato and ice cream actually have a different composition and nutritional value. Gelato is more creamy and dense than ice cream.  Gelato is often lower in calories, fat and sugar. While ice cream legally must have a minimum of 10-percent fat, Gelato is made with a greater proportion of whole milk to cream and so it contains more like 5-percent to 7-percent fat.

Gelato is churned at a slower speed than ice cream, so Gelato is denser because not as much air is whipped into the mixture. Gelato contains about 25 to 30 percent air, while ice cream can contain as much as 50 percent air.

Finally, while ice cream is typically served frozen, Gelato is typically stored and served at a slightly warmer temperature, so it’s not quite completely frozen. If Gelato were served at the same temperature as ice cream (about 10 degrees F) it would be way too hard, and would lose that elastic texture we love. Gelato is normally served 15 degrees warmer than ice cream. If ice cream were served at the same temperature as gelato, it would melt and become way too soupy.

As for that amazing, rich Gelato flavor since there is not as much fat and almost no air in Gelato; the flavors more intense and often exceeds ice cream for taste.


Ice Cream: Fat and Fluffy

Ice cream is a frozen dairy dessert made of milk, cream, sugar, and (typically) egg yolks. Traditionally, French-style ice cream contained egg yolks and was richer than American-style ice cream, which didn’t initially contain eggs. However, American ice cream has now evolved to also include the yolks.

The ingredients in ice cream are first cooked together into a rich custard. After the custard base is cooled, it’s churned at a fairly high speed to incorporate air and increase its volume (cheaper ice creams tends to have more air whipped into them).

Ice cream is served at a fairly cold temperature that makes scoops hold together, and the finished product is smooth, light-textured, and creamy.

Gelato: Dense and Intense

Gelato is the Italian word for ice cream. It starts out with a similar base as ice cream, but has a higher proportion of milk and most gelato has a lower proportion of cream and eggs.
Gelato is churned at a much slower rate, incorporating less air and leaving the gelato denser than ice cream.

Gelato is served at a slightly warmer temperature than ice cream, so its texture stays silkier and softer. Because it has a lower percentage of fat than ice cream, the main flavor ingredient really shines through.

What is Sorbetto ?

Sorbetto is a form of gelato that contains no milk. Sorbettos may contain alcohol (which lowers the freezing temperature, resulting in a softer product). We use the same machinery as our gelato and it whips almost no air into the sorbetto, resulting in a dense and extremely flavorful creation. This allows sorbetto to match and sometimes exceed ice cream for taste.

Sorbetto is served as a non-fat or low fat and vegan alternative to ice cream. Sorbets were traditionally served between the starter course and main entrée (main course) in order to cleanse the palate. The French are responsible for this culinary tradition.

Is there really a difference between Sorbetto, Sorbet and Sherbet?

Sorbetto comes from Italy.  It is a frozen dessert made from pure fruit, natural flavors and sugar. Generally thought of as being fruit based, sorbetto can be made with any ingredient, like our chocolate sorbetto. No milk products are ever added. Our sorbetto is also churned at a slower speed, just like our gelato.  So a dense and more intense flavor is created.

Sorbet comes from France; sherbet is an American creation made with milk.