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Gelato vs Ice Cream: What Is Ice Cream Made Of?

Gelato vs Ice Cream: What Is Ice Cream Made Of?
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Gelato vs Ice Cream: What Is Ice Cream Made Of?

Whether it’s you or your customers, you’ve probably had the question ‘what is the difference between gelato and ice cream’ thrown at you in the summer months. Is gelato just a fancy word for ice cream or is it its own thing? Let’s take a look at what ice cream contains and what makes it different from gelato, so you can be in the know when you make stock decisions. 

What is ice cream made of? 

Ice cream, depending on the brand, can be full of many different types of ingredients and flavourings. However, at its core, it’s a mixture of cream, milk, vanilla and sugar which is then cooled to below the freezing point of water and mixed gently to freeze without any ice crystals. Some ice cream styles also call for eggs in the recipe to add richness. 

Obviously, this means that most generic ice cream is not suitable for people with dairy allergies or those who don’t eat dairy products – since both milk and cream are dairy. However, you can also get vegan ice cream which replaces these with soy or other plant-based ingredients and removes eggs entirely. 

As for gelato and how it differs from ice cream, the answer might surprise you…

What's the difference between gelato and ice cream? 

Gelato is technically just the Italian word for ice cream, but it has also grown to describe a certain style that makes it taste different to standard ice cream. The process that creates ice cream results in a smooth, creamy dessert texture - whereas gelato is stirred more slowly so air pockets are smaller and the overall mixture is denser. Gelato is usually served at warmer temperatures, so it’s a softer, silkier style.

Gelato is also traditional so doesn’t use eggs, which are an American addition, meaning most styles have less fat than the equivalent ice cream flavour. Because Gelato is typically softer and ‘holds its shape’ less effectively than ice cream, it’s less common in frozen-food aisles and more popular when served direct to customers from a soft-serve counter. 

The great news for Eden Farm customers, if you’d like to serve gelato or ice cream, is that we can supply you with the products you need for either - or both! For example, you could stock popular take-home or impulse buy ice cream ranges such as Ben & Jerrys or Magnum, then serve fresh scooping ice cream & gelato from our Kellys and Fwip range. 

As the summer approaches, knowing just what your ice cream is made of and getting your customers excited about ice cream and gelato should be on the forefront of your mind. Get in touch today to talk to our team and see all the ways we can help get the world’s favourite frozen treats to your shop.