There’s a common misconception that ‘gelato’ is simply the Italian word for ‘ice cream’. While the two deserts are certainly similar, they are by no means the same thing.
While originally thought of as strictly an Italian delicacy, gelato has been gaining popularity in North America. But why is this? Well as it turns out, Gelato is generally healthier – and in the opinion of many people – a better tasting alternative to ice cream. Here’s our 5 reasons why Gelato is better than ice cream:
1. Made fresh everyday
While ice cream can be stored for months before it’s served, gelato is generally consumed a day or two after preparation. Because it is served and stored at a warmer temperature, gelato does not have an indefinite shelf life – so to speak. When you order gelato in a decent shop, you can be safe to assume it was made fresh earlier that day.
2. Gelato is healthier
Gelato is simply a healthier choice. Whereas ice cream usually has about 18-30% fat content, gelato is closer is to 2-9% (depending on the maker). In addition, gelato sports about half the calories found in ice cream. This doesn’t mean you should double up on your order, but you can definitely feel good picking gelato knowing that it can be the healthier choice!
3. Flavour is more intense
On a related note to reason #2, less fat results in a flavour that is more intense. When you consume fat, it coats the tongue – thereby dulling the flavour. Because gelato has less fat, you get to experience more of the taste. In addition, the warmer serving temperature also contributes to greater flavour since cold is known to inhibit flavour.
4. Wider range of flavours
While ice cream chains like Ben and Jerry’s offer umptillion types of ice cream, they are usually set apart by the ingredients added to the base ice cream (vanilla, chocolate, strawberry, pistachio, etc.). The nature of gelato allows for more experimentation with the base flavour. Expect to see almost any type of fruit, nut, or exotic flavour (such as hot peppers) as a key ingredient in your gelato.
5. Less or no artificial flavours/ingredients
We always hear about the benefits of eating natural ingredients over artificial ones. Well most authentic gelato recipes are made from milk, cream, egg yolk, sugar, and whatever other fresh ingredients are available for flavour. Rest assured that as long as your local gelato shop is up to snuff, there shouldn’t be anything artificial in your food.
Things to Remember:
Before you run off and grab some gelato, keep these few tips in mind:
1. Gelato should be displayed flat.
If the gelato is piled into a big mound, that means it was probably frozen before serving.
2. Fruit should be in season.
If you see flavours for seasonal fruits in mid-winter, it’s a good bet they’re using frozen or artificial ingredients.
3. Do they have hazelnut (nocciola)?
Even if you don’t like hazelnut, it’s one of the most expensive gelato flavours to make. If they offer it, that means their gelato place is up to snuff!
4. Give it a try!
If you’re not sure about your local gelato shop, try some different flavours and find out! There’s usually tons of different types (with new ones everyday) so even if your first serving isn’t great, there’s likely a flavour that’ll strike your fancy.
Stay informed. Stay Current.