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Miami Wants to Know What Tastes Better, Gelato or Ice Cream?

The US industry-leading gelato manufacturer's blog

You have always been a fan of sweet frozen desserts, with gelato and ice cream at the top of your list. Imagine a friend asking you this simple question: What is better, gelato or ice cream? How would you answer?

ice cream or gelato
Ice cream and gelato are both mind-blowingly delicious but have you ever thought what makes them similar yet different?

Gelato and Ice Cream: What’s the Difference

Many people erroneously assume that all frozen confections are created equally, and there fundamentally, there is no difference between ice cream, gelato, or even sorbet and sherbet. However, when you dive a little deeper, you will quickly realize that there are several stark differences between ice cream and gelato.

Flavor and Texture

Ice cream and gelato are popular frozen desserts available in a variety of flavors. You might be very surprised to learn that the way gelato makers craft gelato actually gives the sweet treat a bolder, more intense flavor. The texture of gelato is also much smoother than ice cream. This is because of how gelato is made, compared to American-style ice cream.

gelato densely whipped for density
Unlike ice cream which is power whipped, gelato requires more TLC in it’s preparation to ensure density

Why Is Gelato More Dense Than Ice Cream?

Think back to the last time you ate gelato and ice cream. How would you describe the texture of gelato? Chances are, the word “dense” would be one of the words you would use to explain the consistency of gelato to someone who has never eaten this sweet Italian delicacy before.

Once again, the way gelato makers concoct the icy confection accounts for the treat’s denser consistency. Unlike ice cream, which is whipped at very high speeds to create the finished product’s fluffy texture, Italian gelato is stirred at a lower rate.

The faster speed at which ice cream is churned also increases the air content, which is why ice cream is less dense than gelato.

Can I Make Unique Desserts With Gelato Instead of Ice Cream?

Because there is more air in ice cream than in gelato, people often assume that gelato is too thick and dense to be used in some classic frozen desserts, including tiramisu. However, before reaching for your preferred flavors, including chocolate ice cream or vanilla ice cream, realize that gelato is served at a higher temperature than ice cream; it is ideal for a frozen dessert.

egg yolk mixed into gelato recipe
Although no longer generally used in gelato recipe’s, dessert makers may opt to add egg whites and yolks for added smoothness in gelato texture

Gelato Ingredients – The Egg Yolks Factor

There are several similarities between how gelato and ice cream are made. Gelato rarely contains a large amount of cream, and cream is what gives ice cream its texture. Instead, gelato contains a higher amount of milk, typically whole milk. Many gelato makers do not use eggs or egg yolks to create gelato.

However, because it can be tricky to achieve gelato’s smoother texture, some homemade recipes for gelato might call for egg yolks. It is at the discretion of the gelato maker to determine if they want to add egg to their own ice cream recipe. Once the base is made, the gelato aficionado can add some flavors to make the product more unique, including fruit. Once again, gelato is churned at a much lower speed than ice cream, which is what creates gelato’s signature finished product.

Ice Cream Ingredients

There are several different varieties of ice cream, and each is determined by the ingredients. Like gelato, ice cream contains milk, sugar, and cream. However, there is a much higher amount of cream in ice cream than in gelato. American ice cream is traditionally separated into two categories: Phildelphia-style and custard.

Philadephia ice cream contains three basic ingredients of milk, cream, and sugar. Different flavorings are then added to this average vanilla ice cream to personalize each bite. Custard is a form of ice cream with a custard base made from milk, cream, sugar, and another crucial ingredient: eggs.

What About The Artificial Flavors in an Average Vanilla Ice Cream?

Another key difference lies in how ice cream and gelato are flavored. Most commercially-produced ice creams feature artificial flavors and colors. Traditional Italian gelato is typically made with fruit purees and natural ingredients.

How Are Gelato and Ice Cream Stored and Served?

Both ice cream and gelato are obviously stored and served cold. Ice cream is kept at a lower temperature than gelato, around -4 degrees Fahrenheit. Gelato is held at a slightly warmer temperature, so you are less likely to suffer the dreaded brain freeze if you enjoy gelato!

Because ice cream is frozen solid when served, it is scooped. Most smooth gelatos are served with a flat spatula called a spade. So instead of enjoying a scoop of gelato, you are actually eating a spade of the sweet product!

chocolate gelato less butterfat
Gelato contains less butterfat than ice cream, making it a more guilt-free treat for all!

Chocolate Ice Cream Vs. Chocolate Gelato

You would love to enjoy a scoop of ice cream every day, but there is only one nagging problem: the higher fat content and sugar levels in ice cream. Want to enjoy delicious food straight out of the freezer with less guilt? Opt for chocolate gelato over chocolate ice cream!

Although gelato is denser than ice cream, how both products are manufactured dictates their nutritional value, caloric content, and fat content. Ice cream uses more cream than milk during the manufacturing process. Gelato, which is incidentally the Italian word for “ice cream,” uses more milk than cream.

According to the federal oversight department, United States Department of Agriculture, or USDA, for a food to be classified as “ice cream,” it must contain no less than 10% butterfat. However, most commercially produced ice creams contain far more. Gelato contains anywhere from 4% to 9% butterfat.

What this means for you as the consumer is that gelato is typically far better for you than ice cream, even low-fat ice cream. A typical serving of gelato, such as a half cup, contains less cream, less saturated fat, fewer calories, and less sugar.

Most flavors of ice cream, once again even those that are labeled low-fat ice cream, contain less air, more sugar, more calories, and more fat than a serving of gelato.

Gelato World Cup? No coating the roof your mouth? Check out some of these interesting gelato facts you may never have heard of.

Fun Facts About Gelato!

Gelato has been enjoyed by people all across the world for centuries and is traditionally served on a spade in gelaterias. Want to know more? Here are a few more interesting and fun facts about gelato:

  • There is a Gelato World Cup. Held every two years, teams featuring gelato creators and pastry chefs from around the globe compete in a variety of categories, including ice sculpting.
  • Some Flavors Are More Popular Than Others. Traditionally, gelato was flavored with fruit. However, the frozen confection has come a long way, even though several flavors are still very popular, including chocolate, pistachio, and lemon.
  • Gelato Won’t Coat Your Tongue and the Roof of Your Mouth Like Ice Cream. Ever wondered why you sometimes feel an unpleasant coating on your tongue and inside your mouth after eating a scoop of ice cream? This is because of the higher fat content, particularly butterfat, found in ice cream. If you find this offputting, gelato is the better option because it won’t leave behind the same film inside your mouth.
  • There is How Much Air in Gelato? A typical gelato contains around 25% air compared to the 50% air content found in a bowl of ice cream. Once again, the lower air content is one of the main reasons gelato is so much richer and smoother than ice cream.
We’re convinced; gelato is by far superior to ice cream! But what do you think?

The Final Verdict: Gelato vs. Ice Cream

Now that you have been presented with all the facts, it is time to break down the greatest rivalry in frozen confections: gelato vs. ice cream.

The first contender: Ice Cream

The Philadephia-style ice cream and a custard base ice cream contain artificial flavors and colors, more fat, cream, sugar, and air. You might also be surprised that ice cream is typically available in fewer flavors than gelato, as well. Ice cream is churned much faster, adding air to the product. Because there is a higher air content in ice cream, you wind up actually eating more product to feel satisfied.

Next, let’s consider gelato. Gelato features a lower fat content, fewer calories, and less cream. This means you can eat more gelato without feeling as guilty. The slower speed at which gelato is churned also creates a richer, bolder taste. This means that if you choose gelato, you can delight your taste buds without feeling as guilty because you are not consuming all the extra sugar that is found in a bowl of ice cream. personal

Come visit us in Miami Beach and check out or amazing selection of gelato and other desserts!

See For Yourself Why Gelato is the Superior Frozen Dessert? Visit I Scream Gelato in Miami Beach!

No matter what your personal preference is, whether you love fruity confections or are a diehard chocolate gelato lover, you will find your new favorite flavor of gelato at I Scream Gelato in Miami Beach, FL. Our fantastic crew of chefs and gelato lovers handcraft unique flavors each and every day.

What exactly does this mean for you as a gelato lover? It means that you will never get bored with our wide selection of alcohol-infused, custom-made, and vegan flavors. Visit I Scream Gelato, and you are guaranteed the best cup of gelato you have ever tasted!

Once you’ve enjoyed your gelato, you can stay for a drink. We offer a wide variety of blended coffees and cold beverages, from iced macchiatos and lattes to milkshakes and iced chai teas!

Gelato Catering and Delivery in Miami Beach, FL

If you don’t have time to sit and enjoy a cup of gelato in our Miami Beach boutique, we have got you covered because we offer pickup and delivery too!

Want to make your corporate event, gender reveal, anniversary party, birthday party, or baby shower more memorable? We cater to all varieties of events, both large and small. In addition to providing the gelato, we also come armed with everything you will need for your party or event, including cups, cones, spoons, napkins, and a variety of toppings.

Want a Gelato Shop of Your Own?

If you’re considering opening a gelato shop of your own, I Scream Gelato is the perfect franchise to join. With our help, you can open and run a successful business that serves up delicious, handmade gelato with all the love from Miami Beach.

We provide everything you need to get started, from recipes and marketing tools to the best-tasting bubble waffle on the market. Our team of experts is there every step of the way to provide support and guidance.

Whether you are looking for the best gelato in Miami Beach, FL, or want to open your own shop, I Scream Gelato has got you covered! Visit us today to try all of our delicious flavors and get started on a tasty journey that will make every day better!

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