Our Condolences. Your Ice Cream Has Been Lying To You

They’re both cold, they’re both desserts, and they’re both pretty hard to resist on a summer afternoon. Yes, ice cream and gelato have a lot in common at first glance. But, as you are about to learn right now—they are, in fact, totally different beasts.

Let’s hop in the Leo Leo Time Machine and go way, way back—back to the 1500s, when Gelato first hit the shelves in Italy. The low-fat, egg free, and gluten free treat gained its longtime popularity thanks to its dense, velvety texture, bright flavor, and relatively guilt-free allure. See, traditional Gelato has always been made with fresh milk and a dash of cream—never with dulling butterfat or other heavy fillers.Leo-Leo_Gelato_Lavender-Vanilla

At Leo Leo, we continue to create gelato the old fashioned way, adding premium local ingredients (fruit, chocolate, herbs, even local wine and Firestone beer) before churning and slow-freezing. Consider this our one-two punch from a killer gelato. Colder temps = less air. Less air means you’re getting the vibrant flavor your tastebuds crave.

Now, let’s look at that ice cream cone in your hand—the one that is threatening to drip down your elbow, leaving a too-sweet, sticky mess. Nothing against ice cream, but it’s just not our jam. Why? Well, most American ice creams are full of hot air. To be clear, that pint of chocolate chip isn’t all it appears to be. It’s whipped at high speeds and contains at least 50 percent more air than gelato (and yes: that means you’re paying for air, not dessert).

Kinda makes you wonder, “What else has your ice cream been lying about?”

Leo-Leo-Gelato_Strawberry

Plus—and you already know this, but ice cream can hardly claim to be a “healthy” indulgence (some brands contain as much as 24 percent butterfat). Lastly—and this is the nail in the coffin for us—ice cream is frozen at far lower temperatures, leading to a duller-tasting treat.

Who wants dull? Anyone?

With its bright, exciting flavors, healthier ingredients, and luxurious mouthfeel, I can imagine that mighty gelato will reign for another 500 years. Who knows…perhaps one day, aliens will be debating the virtues of gelato over ice cream, and they can refer back to this post. Times may change, but society will still need its beloved gelato break (we’re working on making that a “thing” in most offices).

Still not convinced? Let’s put it this way. When the best part of your dessert is the chocolate-dipped, sprinkle-coated waffle cone it came in, you’ve got to reassess your life.

Mic drop. Gelato out!

 

This blog was written by Hayley Thomas, food and wine writer for New Times and PasoRoblesWineries.net. You can reach her at hthomas@newtimesslo.com.

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