Daily Gelato

19 Sep

I was salivating before the trip to Venice, knowing that I was going to eat at least one serving of gelato a day while in Italy. Actually the first night, I had 2 separate cups of Pistachio. I couldn’t resist.

From an American point of view, it seems that gelato is more popular in Italy than ice cream is here in the U.S. Gelato stands are ubiquitous throughout the country and they offer a wide array of flavors, not to mention that it’s relatively cheap. For around 1euro, you can get a scoop of Stracciatella (chocolate chip/vanilla), Nocciola (hazelnut), or Bacio (chocolate and hazelnut) gelato in a cone or cup.

The differences between Italian gelato and American ice cream are slight, but make all the difference in flavor and texture. Gelato is made with milk, sometimes skim-milk as opposed to cream which gives it a much lower milk fat content. Less milk fat allows the flavors of gelato to really stand out compared to the more blended flavors of ice cream. It also has a lower sugar content. In terms of consistency, gelato is churned at a slower speed than ice cream, so it’s denser because not as much air is whipped into the mixture. (Gelato contains about 25 to 30 percent air, while ice cream can contain as much as 50 percent air) Finally, while ice cream is typically served frozen, gelato is typically stored and served at a slightly warmer temperature. And since gelato is rarely kept frozen, production happens in small batches and in many cases onsite.

-derek

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