Gelato is NOT ice-cream

No other topic has created as much feedback as our constant talk about gelato. Now our dear friend Anja asks me “why you keep saying ‘gelato’, why don’t you say ‘ice-cream'”?

Well, besides that gelato sounds way cooler and we have to work on our Italian language skills, gelato and ice cream are 2 different things!

The main differences seem to be

  • First, there’s more “overrun” in North American style ice creams than in gelato. “Overrun” is the amount of air beaten into the ice cream during the freezing process. As a result, gelato tends to have a more intense, concentrated flavour.
  • The fat content of North American style ice creams is higher, ranging between 16- 30%, whereas gelato only contains 3-10% fat. This is because North American style ice cream actually uses cream, whereas gelato is made with milk, water or soy milk (depending on the flavour).
  • (from

    Wow, that means we can actually eat more gelato!!!

    This entry was posted in Food, Italy. Bookmark the permalink.

    4 Responses to Gelato is NOT ice-cream

    1. Frances.T says:

      JUST THOUGHT I’D ADD THIS..FROM A LONGER ARTICLE ON Pistachio Gelato @ (First appeared in Los Angeles Times Magazine, June 13, 2004 )

      “The invention of Italian gelato predates the 1744 debut of American ice cream by fewer than 100 years, but culinary myths about its origin have swirled for centuries. Two of the more beloved and tenacious legends place gelato’s icy ancestors with Marco Polo on his return from China in the 13th century (a trip some scholars doubt took place), and in Catherine de Médicis’ dowry when she moved to France in 1533 to wed the Duc d’Orléans. But there is no record of how these treats were frozen nor are there any recipes.

      “The first time man-made freezing techniques were written about in Europe was around the mid-1500s,” says Micol Negrin, author of Rustico: Regional Italian Country Cooking. “Until then, people in the Mediterranean who enjoyed cold sweets were those who had access to snow that came from Mt. Etna on the island of Sicily.”


    2. Anja says:

      Thanks for clearing this :-), actually I bought a little “gelato-machine” years ago, tried once to make it on my own…but still prefer Italian Gelato in the street :-) I prefer a flavor mix of espresso and brittle…yummy !

    3. Marco from Turin says:

      gelato “artigianale” is not ice cream. The american style ice cream is
      based on a common industrial production process through all the world. Thus if you buy some pre-packaged ice cream you won’t find them so different from the US ones (except for the size maybe :) )
      If you buy gelato “artigianale” (craftsmade), that’s real gelato :)

    4. You mentioned how it was cooler to say and how you could eat more of it – but you should really emphasize how much better tasting it is too!

    Leave a Reply

    Your email address will not be published.