Gelato is Italian ice cream and is derived from the Latin word for ‘frozen.’
It is a dense, smooth, creamy, and flavorful frozen product that has 3 main differences from American ice cream.
Most American ice cream has a butterfat content of 14-25%, while gelato fat content generally ranges from 4-9%. Less butterfat enables consumers to perceive the gelato flavors better, making gelato a much tastier product.
American ice cream can have up to 50% or more air churned into it, compared to 20-30% in gelato. Air can double the amount of ice cream produced in a single batch, lowering the quality. The density in gelato not only creates a smoother and richer product, but ensures high quality in each batch produced. However, despite its density, gelato's low butterfat content maintains its lightness, creating the perfect combination of creamy but light.
Gelato is usually served at a temperature 10-15 degrees warmer than American ice cream. The warmer temperature reinforces the creamy texture of the gelato and the bold flavors, as they more quickly melt in your mouth.