The easiest answer is no, gelato is not just ice cream. Many people are uncertain what the difference is between Authentic Italian Gelato and good old fashioned ice cream. Often people think that the only difference is in the name. However there are several differences between ice cream and gelato from the ingredients they contain to way they are made.
The main difference in the ingredients used for gelato versus ice cream is that gelato uses less fat. As the name insinuates, ice cream is made with cream whereas gelato is made with milk. Many ice cream bases also use egg yolks for custard bases. Some gelatos use eggs but it would be egg whites as opposed to egg yolks and it would depend on the flavors. Both ice cream and gelato contain sugar and it really depends on the recipe as to how much sugar is added. Of course recipes vary greatly from parlor to parlor and brand to brand.
When it comes to preparation ice cream has more air added during the churning process. This is because it contains heavier cream to begin with and therefore when churning it will fluff up more. Higher quality ice creams contain only 25 percent air whereas lesser quality ice creams can contain as much as 90 percent. The more churning and air the less intense the flavor will be and the quicker the ice cream will melt. The gelato churning process is far slower than that used for ice cream which results in an even more intense flavor than ice cream.
In general most people would say that gelato does tend to have a stronger flavor than ice cream and this is because the flavor tends to shine through with more prominence against the lower fat content and slower churning process. However ice cream has a more creamy palate that many people prefer. It really boils down to personal preference and very few people who enjoy ice cream or sherbet would not enjoy gelato. Both offer a very pleasurable flavor in hand with a lovely texture and cooling sensation.
As you can see authentic Italian gelato might look like ice cream but it has many differences that sets it apart for the popular treat of ice cream.
If you would like to start serving authentic Italian gelato at your restaurant or shop GS Gelato are the genius supplier you want.
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