Gelato vs Ice Cream


It all started when…

Gelato was first developed in Italy in the 1500’s and over the centuries has grown to represent a well-loved and healthier frozen dessert.  Most gelato flavors are low-fat, egg free and gluten-free.

True Italian gelato, like ours, is made with milk and a little cream, flavored with premium natural ingredients that are emulsified in the cooking process, churned, and then frozen slowly. This traditional slow freezing process that incorporates as little air as possible, creates a dense, velvety texture with a creamy mouth feel that expresses wonderfully vibrant flavors with far lower fat content.

In contrast, American ice cream is whipped at high speeds with at least 50 percent more air than gelato and contains up to 24 percent butterfat that dampers the delivery of flavors. In addition, commercial ice cream is frozen at lower temperatures than gelato, causing some desensitizing of the taste buds. The more air that is incorporated into ice cream or any other frozen product, the greater the risk of ice crystals being formed and the colder and icier the mouth feel can be.  So gelato’s less air, reduced fat, and higher refrigeration temperature delivers a far superior experience to your palate.

Sorbetto, made in the same fashion but typically without dairy, has no fat at all and is crafted with premium, natural ingredients. Leo Leo Sorbetto is water-based (fruit juice) and the American counterpart, sherbert, is milk-based. Dairy and gluten sensitive individuals find sorbetto to be a heavenly treat.

According to Wikipedia, the word “sorbet” could be derived from the Italian verb “sorbire” (to imbibe).The root however is found in Indo-European languages such as Greek and Persian for example. The English word “sherbet” entered English in the early 17th century from the Turkish.

There is a possibility that a recipe for a sorbet-like dessert was brought to Italy from China by Marco Polo in the late 13th century, as claimed in The Travels of Marco Polo.

There is also talk that Nero, the Roman Emperor, was responsible for the invention of sorbet in the first century AD. Folklore has it that he had runners from the Appian way pass buckets of snow from runner to runner down to his banquet hall where it was mixed with wine and honey.

Catherine de’Medici also had a hand in frozen desserts. She left Italy to marry the Duke of Orleans who went on to became Henry II of France. It is believed these treats made their way to France in 1533. Sorbet was available in the streets of Paris by the end of the 17th century and then spread throughout Europe and to England.