Is gelato the same as ice cream?


But, we’re glad you’re asking.

So, what’s the difference?

Gelato is the Italian word for ‘ice cream.’ American ice cream is made from milk, cream, sugar, and egg yolks. They are cooked together into a custard, and then churned at a fast rate to incorporate as much air into the ice cream as possible. This aeration causes a great increase in volume, and a much lighter texture. Typically, the cheaper the ice cream, the more air it contains. Ice cream also has a much higher percentage of butterfat, the minimum being 10%. A higher rate of butterfat means that it coats the tongue in such a way that it is harder for your taste buds to detect its flavor. This is why most ice creams must use artificial flavors.

Gelato, like ice cream, starts with a base that contains milk, cream, and sugar. However, it does not contain egg and uses a greater proportion of milk than cream. It is churned at a significantly lower rate than American ice cream, and thus is more dense. Gelato is also stored at a higher temperature than ice cream, which gives it its signature soft, silky texture. The butterfat percentage of gelato is around 5-7%, making it so that it can use all natural flavors, like the ones we use here at Abbraccio Gelato.

Still have gelato questions? Come visit us and taste the difference for yourself.