What Differentiates Gelato from Regular Ice Cream?

Are you a fan of gelato? This special Italian frozen dairy product is the most common variation of what is considered “ice cream” in this Mediterranean country and has steadily grown in popularity over the past several years, as more creameries and ice cream shops have begun making it themselves.

So what exactly differentiates regular ice cream and gelato? Here are three elements which make them different.

More Milk, Less Cream

Ice “cream” has its name for a reason: it usually contains a higher percentage of thicker, higher-fat dairy cream than it does milk. Gelato, on the other hand, contains much more milk than it does cream. This makes it a lower-fat option, which usually contains around 5-8% fat in comparison to ice cream’s typical 10%+ percent composition.

It’s Much More Dense

Ice cream is made by folding lots of air into the product, as it is mixed and made to increase its volume, while gelato is stirred much more gently and doesn’t contain as much air. This results in a denser, thicker consistency that can fill you up really quickly!

Serving Temperature

Another subtle difference you’ll notice when eating gelato is it is served at a higher temperature than regular ice cream is. While ice cream begins to melt just above the freezing point, gelato maintains its consistency and is served around 45-50 F, allowing its flavors to come through and shine as your tongue and taste buds aren’t as affected by low temperatures.