When you delve into the realm of frozen desserts, distinguishing between ice cream and gelato becomes a delicious journey of discovery. While both treats provide relaxation on hot summer days, they each possess unique characteristics that set them apart. Ice cream, known for its rich and creamy texture, typically contains a higher fat content and air, resulting in a denser consistency. Gelato, on the other hand, has a smoother, softer texture due to its lower fat content and slower churning process. Additionally, gelato often exhibits more intense flavors because it is served at a slightly higher temperature. So whether it’s the decadent indulgence of ice cream or the velvety allure of gelato, frozen treats offer a spectrum of flavors and textures to enjoy.
Gagan Anand, Founder & Director of Scuzo Ice ‘O’ Magic, India’s first Live Popsicle Concept & Dessert Café delves into the delicious world of frozen desserts and explores the nuances that differentiate ice cream from gelato.
Ice cream is usually made with ingredients such as cream, milk and sugar, and often contains egg yolks in the base. The egg yolks add richness and a creamy texture to traditional ice cream. It often contains a higher percentage of butterfat, usually around 10-20%, which contributes to its luxurious mouthfeel.
Gelato, on the other hand, is made from whole milk, sugar and natural fruit. Gelato has less fat than ice cream, typically ranging from 4% to 8%, resulting in a lighter and smoother texture.
Ice cream is generally served at a colder temperature, usually around -20°C (-4°F). This lower serving temperature can numb the taste buds, making it more difficult to distinguish the subtle flavors.
Gelato is served at a slightly warmer temperature, about -10°C to -15°C (14°F to 5°F). This milder temperature makes the flavors of gelato clearer and easier to perceive in the mouth.
Gelato is known for its lower fat content due to the use of less cream and more milk. Normally it contains about 4% to 5% milk fat and about 10% to 20% air during cooking.
Ice cream, on the other hand, is characterized by a higher fat content, mainly because it contains more cream and less milk than gelato. It typically has a milk fat content of 10% to 40% and contains approximately 70% to 90% air during the churning process.
Ice cream is prized for its rich and creamy texture, which often feels luxurious in the mouth. The high fat content contributes to this creaminess, creating a mouth-filling sensation. Due to the higher fat content and the incorporation of more air during churning, ice cream tends to have a denser consistency.
Gelato is known for its exceptional silkiness; the slower churning process and lower fat content play an important role in achieving this silky smoothness. Despite the delicious flavors, it doesn’t weigh heavy on the tongue, making it a delicious choice for those who prefer a less dense frozen treat.
Ice cream typically contains a higher fat content due to the use of cream, resulting in a rich and creamy texture. A serving of ice cream often contains about 125+ calories. It is churned at a higher speed, which introduces more air into the mixture and creates a denser consistency.
Gelato is characterized by its lower fat content, using mainly milk, resulting in a smoother and silkier texture. A serving of gelato typically contains about 90 calories. It is churned at a slower speed, which minimizes air intake and creates a lighter, more delicate mouthfeel.
While both ice cream and gelato share the common goal of satisfying our sweet cravings, they do so in different ways. Ice cream is usually richer, denser and more intense in flavor. On the other hand, gelato offers a lighter, more delicate texture. Ultimately, the choice between ice cream and gelato comes down to personal preference and the specific experience you’re looking for from your frozen treat. Whatever you choose, one thing remains certain: both ice cream and gelato are delicious frozen desserts that continue to captivate taste buds around the world.