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What is the difference between gelato and ice cream?

Oh, wouldn’t life be sweet if ice cream and gelato were as healthy as your greens! Both desserts are loved by everyone around the globe, at any age. You may think of gelato as ‘posh ice cream’ and since the name gelato is ice cream in Italian, you may think that the ingredients are the same. They are, in fact, different!


The main differences between the two is the ratio of milk to cream, the way the mixture is churned and the flavours and textures.


In this blog, we will discuss the differences in detail between ice cream and gelato and what the real difference is. 


What is the difference between gelato and ice cream?: The ingredients


Both ice cream and gelato have milk and cream, but the ratio of each is different. As suggested by the name, ice cream mainly consists of cream, whereas gelato consists of a higher proportion of whole milk to cream. The other difference is that ice cream consists of egg yolks, whereas gelato doesn’t contain any egg yolks at all. The ingredients affect the amount of fat in each desert, with ice cream containing the most fat. Where gelato has 5-7% fat, ice cream has a minimum of 10% fat. This mixture also affects how the texture feels in your mouth. 

What is the difference between gelato and ice cream?: How do you make them?


There are also differences between the way ice cream and gelato is made. Both ice cream and gelato have to be similarly churned, but at a different pace to each other which leaves a different amount of air inside the desert. The churning is done to create a creamy and scoopable texture, but each of them comes out slightly different. Gelato is churned at a slower speed than ice cream, which results in a much denser consistency as less air is whipped inside. Where gelato contains around 25-30% air, ice cream contains 50% air.


Another difference between them is that ice cream is usually stored frozen, whereas gelato is stored slightly warmer than frozen. Being that the gelato is not completely frozen, it has a slightly softer and silkier texture to ice cream. 


What is the difference between gelato and ice cream?: The differences in flavour and texture 


You will notice when going to an ice cream shop that there is an array of pretty much any flavour you could want, mint, caramel, toffee, coffee and more! Although gelato does have a few flavours, it does not contain many. The traditional flavours of gelato stick to vanilla, chocolate, hazelnut and stracciatella as well as some other nutty or fruity flavours like pistachio… not exactly what you would expect in an ice cream shop!


There is a distinct difference in flavour between ice cream and gelato and this is mainly to do with the fat content and temperature of the desert. Ice cream contains a lot of fat, which will coat the tongue and taste buds before the flavour has hit your mouth, leaving a lighter taste than gelato. In addition, the cold of ice cream numbs the mouth, meaning that you cannot detect flavours as well. On the other hand, gelato brings out more intense flavours of the desert by being slightly warmer and made with slightly less fat. 


What is the difference between gelato and ice cream?: Is gelato more flavoursome than ice cream? 


Well, I guess that depends who you ask! In our opinion, gelato is much nicer. Why not try it for yourself by looking at Cremeloso Gelato today? It is a much healthier alternative to ice cream and tastes absolutely delicious! 


Thank you for reading our blog ‘What is the difference between gelato and ice cream?’

Cremoloso is the lovechild of our two favourite hometown gelato shops. Smooth and refreshing is the ice cream we always wanted to eat and the reason we started our Gelato business. We hope you enjoy Cremoloso as we do!

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