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