Food Snark

Dissecting the Gelato versus Ice Cream Debate

October 26, 2015 by · Leave a Comment 

One of the most globally popular desserts is ice cream. A sweet and delectable dessert choice, ice cream has always been a crowd favorite. Whether it’s a birthday party or just a lazy day, you can expect to see some form of ice cream being consumed.

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One of the best things about ice cream is that it can be served in an assortment of ways. Whether they’re in ice cream cups or sugar cones, nothing beats that cool and refreshing taste on a hot day. But, did you know that ice cream has a competitor that has been rapidly gaining popularity?

Gelato is a matte-colored, full-flavored, frozen treat that is not “ice cream”. What this means is that ice cream is legally called ice cream because it contains at least 10% of milkfat in it. Gelato has substantially less fat therefore it cannot be actually be called ice cream. This is according to the Code of Federal Regulations as the milkfat content is the set criteria that has to be met in order for it to gain the legal title. The common misconception is that it’s Italian ice cream.

There have been great debates on which ranks higher in regards to taste. They’ve often been compared to each other – even though they are fairly different. American-styled ice cream tends to be churned with a high amount of air and cream inside, whereas gelato uses less than 50 percent of air as well as fewer egg yolks. For each of them however, the amount of sugar varies according to the brand.

In Italy, gelato is known to differ by region. The northern version of gelato is a light and egg-free while the southern version is rich and contains both eggs and cream.

While gelato and ice cream remain as the ones to beat when it comes to taste, other frozen desserts have always been in the discussion as well.

Frozen yogurt blew up out of nowhere because of its trendy following as well as its nutritional benefits. Because it is primarily made with milk, it contains less fat and calories than the average ice cream. Also, it differs in taste as it has a slightly tart flavor to it. Besides, those colored plastic spoons and nifty cup designs are hard to resist – some people actually say it makes the tasting experience better.

Sorbet is a frozen dessert that is non-dairy and made of fruit puree, fruit juice, or flavorings. Its texture is softer than ice cream but has a high amount of sugar.
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