Mary Ann's Blog

You Scream, I Scream, We All Scream For Gelato!

Ice_cream_scoop Don't even think about comparing conventional supermarket ice cream to gelato. It's just not in the same league. There is a big difference.

Gelato comes from the Italian word gelare, meaning "to freeze". Italians love their gelato, and it was Sicily that really got things rolling in the 17th century when an aristocrat from Palermo emigrated to Vienna and started making it. To this day, Sicily is still known for its super delicious flavors.

So, what's the difference? Ice cream has a minimum of 10 percent fat, while gelato is made with a higher proportion of whole milk to cream, so it has about 5 to 7 percent fat. Gelato is also churned at a much lower speed than ice cream, so not as much air is whipped into it, leaving it much more dense. In fact, gelato contains about 25-30 percent air, while ice cream can have as much as 50 percent.Gelato usually contains more egg yolks, but still has less fat than regular ice cream.

So, when you are in Italy, you must have gelato because the flavors are so creamy and intense. Have it in a coppa (cup) or cono (cone). The best gelato comes from local gelaterie in Italy, and you will find people out for the daily passeggiata with gelato in hand. Italians know a good thing when they taste it!


  1. carisoprodol's avatar


    I love Gelato promise.. I tasted it once with my husband when we went to supermarket for our groceries, and I love it so much..It is very different from ice cream..My husband loves that too..

Leave a Comment

Looking for even more photos and recipes?
Order my latest book.

Ciao Italia: My Lifelong Food Adventures in Italy

Mary Ann's newest book contains over 150 recipes, 60 gorgeous food photos, and many scenic pictures of Italy taken by Mary Ann on her travels through the years.

Order using this link and receive a signed book plate.

Available now!