When the sun hits and the heat get too unbearable, having a cool dessert is paradise. I always find myself wanting to sink my teeth in an ice cream or gelato. And no, those two aren’t the same. Vastly different, read on so you can tell the difference between ice cream and gelato!
It does not matter if it is a scorching balmy day, festive season, or the weekend, ice cream and gelato will always be a lovely frozen dessert that pops up in your head. Coming in a plethora of flavors, these chilled treats are enjoyed by all walks of life (but some hipster people might say the gelato is a bit posher). Posh or not, no one would say no to either. They might look and taste like the casual tongue, but they are not the same at all. It is quite strange considering the Italian word for ice cream IS ‘gelato’. Funny, right? You would think they are the same but that is not the case!
Difference between Ice Cream and Gelato
Let us get down to business to differentiate them in all the ways possible! That includes from the milk to cream ratio, the churning process of the mixture, to their flavors and textures. You will then see each specific difference between ice cream and gelato.
The ingredients used
The two unescapable ingredients in both ice cream and gelato are undeniably milk and cream. But did you know that having different amounts of milk and cream can result in either an ice cream or gelato? For instance, look at both names. Ice cream, like its name implies, comprises of more cream than milk as compared to its gelato counterpart. A greater proportion of whole milk to cream is required in preparing gelato.
Egg too, is another ingredient that separates the two desserts. Eggs, specifically egg yolks, play several roles in homemade ice cream. The eggs leverage the fat already present in the ice cream base (the butterfat in cream and milk) and make it work even further for a creamier texture. Meanwhile, gelato is mostly completely without eggs as strong emphasis is placed on the milk. Though you can use eggs in preparing gelato, it is just not always common.
That is not all. Different measurements and ingredients influence both the ice cream and gelato’s fat content and mouthfeel too. The word ‘mouthfeel’ refers to the sensations that are experienced inside the mouth while eating or drinking. In other words, the texture of the food and drink you feel as you consume them. In most cases, ice cream must have a minimum of 10 percent fat while the basic gelato has only 5 to 7 percent fat.
The next bit here is the way each dessert is produced. Both ice cream and gelato are churned to create a luscious and creamy goodness that can be scooped easily. And they both vary in churning speed. The speed at which they are churned—and the resulting amount of air incorporated—is what determines their outcome.
To produce gelato, the mixture is churned at a slower rate than ice cream. Having a slower speed to churn the mixture brings out a denser consistency which is what we look for in a gelato! Thick and creamy. What churning at a slower speed does is whip less air into the mixture. So, here is a fun fact: Gelato contains about 25 to 30 percent air, while ice cream can contain as much as 50 percent air. Who would have thought?
Then you have the temperature to consider too. Both the ice cream and gelato are stored at certain temperatures once they are prepared. The idea is to give them the right consistency when served. Ice cream is typically served frozen, around -17°C, whereas gelato is typically stored and served at a slightly warmer temperature, around -9°C. That is why when you bite into a gelato, it has a softer and silker texture than ice cream, because it not completely frozen.
The flavor and texture
If you stop and browse in any ice cream parlor or check out ice cream boxes at a store, you will see plenty of flavors to choose from. From the nostalgic Neapolitan (comprising of the classic chocolate, strawberry, and vanilla), to refined tiramisu ice creams to more uncommon flavors such as durian and ghost pepper (yes, they have that in America), and the list goes on.
But in terms of gelato, the taste profile is an awful lot smaller. There are many classics you may find out in gelato form—vanilla, chocolate, hazelnut, and Stracciatella (vanilla with crunchy chocolate pieces), in addition to pistachio, tiramisu, and a collection of herbal product flavors—however now no longer always the kind of mixtures you spot at the ice cream walkway.
The differences in the composition of the two treats and the way they are stored affects how they taste and feel in the mouth. Fat coats the tongue, creating a layer between the taste buds and the food you eat, and colder foods numb the tongue a bit, making it harder to taste the food. Since gelato is less fatty and hotter than ice cream, the flavors stand out more and are more intense. These factors also give a smoother texture while the ice cream has a finer crystal texture.
Should you get ice cream or gelato?
In all honesty, one is not more superior to the other. It all boils down to personal preference, really. In most cases, gelatos are often, sold at a higher price than ice creams. Ice creams just seem more affordable and are an easy fix for anyone having a dreadful day or just wanting to make their good day even better. But, do you know what else is incredible?
Because you have patiently read this article up to here, you deserve an ice cream recipe. One that does not require any churning. That is right! You can make this ice cream at home and enjoy it on a sweltering day. Check out this Lychee Ice Cream Toast Box. It uses a delicious milky topping called Rich’s Milk Topping, a great topping and filling which contains no less than 36% dairy content. It is a great choice for anyone looking to enjoy something milky and creamy with the right amount of sweetness.
But wait, it does not stop here. Since you already have an ice cream recipe, let us make things even sweeter for you and drop a gelato recipe too! This Roasted Almond Caramel Gelato not only looks great, but it also tastes sophisticated! The addition of Rich’s Non-Dairy Creamer in it too makes it even better, giving it a smoothness that makes you crave more of it. If you have not heard of it, read why Rich’s Non-Dairy Creamer Will Leave You Wanting More.
Sweet ending means new beginnings!
Nothing brings people together quite like delectable desserts. The sweetness; the shared enjoyment of every mouthful and seeing the smile on the faces we love, it is beautiful. If you like what you are reading so far, feel free to explore our recipes and products for more inspirations—start sharing your favorite food moments with us.
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