Wondering what lies behind the world’s tastiest ice cream? Find out about the origins of Italian gelato ice cream and what makes it different from traditional American ice cream.
The commonly used word “Gelato” for the Italian rendition of ice cream is actually by origin a name used by the English speaking people and it means frozen. Whereas originally the Italian ice cream now popular as gelato was known as mantecato in Italy. The ice cream that has taken the world by storm originates from the Northern parts of Italy. Most people are unaware of the difference between gelato and traditional ice cream that you would find in America although the differences are many and quite apparent in terms of appearance, texture, colors and taste.
The fundamental differences
Gelato ice cream is believed to be considerably lower in terms of its fat content. When compared to the American traditional ice cream that has a fat content of about 8 to 10 % Italian gelato ice cream has a fat content of 4 to 8% max. Furthermore you will find that most gelato ice cream is made out of whole milk, caster sugar, different flavorings with fruit being the majority and even skimmed milked powder in order to restrict ice crystallization.
Generally gelato ice cream does not use cream or eggs in the making but even when they are used the Italians make sure to give that particular ice cream a strong flavor so as to not drown the flavor with the use of the cream. Another thing that differentiates gelato ice cream from American ice cream is its texture. Gelato is served in more of a semi frozen texture as compared to the hard and frozen ice cream generally available. Ordinary gelato and gelato sorbetto are known to be much purer and richer in terms of their taste as well.
Gelato ice cream in the making
There is no great big difference between the methodology used to make gelato ice cream and traditional ice cream. Making ice cream requires you to freeze the mixture while it is being stirred. It is also possible to make ice cream at home using electronic ice cream makers. This method ensures the restriction of ice crystals. As it is gelato ice cream has much less air whipped than ordinary ice cream. Since sugar restricts the freezing process it is important to get the balance of all the ingredients right in order to make the perfect gelato ice cream.
Another version of gelato ice cream incorporates the use of water. Known as sorbetto in Italy it has become famous as sorbet in the world. Originating from Southern Italy this form of ice cream is made using water and fruits. The water and sugar content in the sorbet determine the texture that the ice cream will take. When the sugar content is low the ice cream becomes grainy and this is the way most people like it as it allows the taste to come across much stronger.