Gelato: The Healthier Alternative to Ice Cream

My Italian roots may come as a surprise, with a middle name like Alberto. But there’s no denying my American upbringing, born and raised in the great state of New Jersey. As an avid consumer of frozen desserts, I’ve had my fair share of ice cream. However, if given the choice, I would always opt for gelato and leave the ice cream in the freezer. Why, you may ask? Well, gelato surpasses ice cream in so many ways, from its delightful flavor to its nutritional value. It’s clear that the Italians truly know how to craft the perfect frozen treat.

Gelato: Bursting with Flavor

If you’ve had the pleasure of savoring chocolate gelato side by side with chocolate ice cream, you would have noticed that gelato boasts a much more powerful chocolate flavor. TheKitchn explains that gelato’s lower fat content contributes to its bolder taste. Unlike ice cream, gelato’s flavors are not diluted or smoothed out by excessive fat. This results in a cleaner finish and a taste that lingers just long enough on the palate.

More Gelato, More Satisfaction

Picture this: equally sized scoops of gelato and ice cream placed on a scale. You’d find that the gelato weighs more. Serious Eats reveals that the process of churning, which adds air and gives both desserts their signature texture, differs between ice cream and gelato. Gelato is churned at a slower speed, resulting in less air being incorporated into the final product. Consequently, gelato is denser than its ice cream counterpart. In simple terms, choosing gelato means more frozen, creamy delight with every bite.

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The Scooping Surprise

It might sound unbelievable, but it’s true – gelato is easier to scoop than ice cream. How many times have you struggled with scooping ice cream, bending spoons or even hurting yourself in the process? Perhaps you’ve had to resort to microwaving a tub of ice cream to soften it up. The hardness of ice cream is a direct result of its temperature. While ice cream is typically served at around 10 degrees Fahrenheit, gelato reaches its truest expression at slightly warmer temperatures. At a gelateria, the serving temperature ensures that gelato is effortlessly scoopable.

Interestingly, some store-bought gelati, like the popular brand Talenti, are also easier to scoop and seem to soften up faster. While the exact reason remains a mystery, it’s possible that food scientists are working their magic to recreate the gelateria experience at home. Regardless of the reason, one thing is clear – our wrists appreciate the ease of scooping gelato.

Gelato: A Healthier Choice

You might be skeptical, wondering how something that tastes so good can actually be good for you. But trust me, gelato is the real deal. SFGate reports that while ice cream contains a hefty 14 to 17 percent milkfat, gelato only contains 3 to 8 percent. The reason behind this lies in the ingredients. Ice cream relies heavily on the use of rich cream, while gelato primarily utilizes milk. Additionally, gelato uses significantly fewer egg yolks, or in some cases, none at all.

Analyzing a 3.5-ounce portion of vanilla ice cream, you’ll find it contains 125 calories, 7 grams of fat, and 14 grams of sugar. In contrast, an equivalent serving of gelato contains just 90 calories, 3 grams of fat, and 10 grams of sugar. It’s a win-win situation – you get to indulge in a delicious frozen treat while making a healthier choice.

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Gelato for All, Including the Lactose-Intolerant

For those who are lactose-intolerant, gelato has got you covered. Dairy-free gelato, known as sorbetto in Italian, is often fruit-based. However, there are plenty of dairy-free chocolate gelato options available, with many of them offering a delightfully dark chocolate taste. EatingWell even provides a recipe for making dairy-free gelato at home, so you can have the best of both worlds.

BONUS: Gelato – A Taste of Italy

I’ve only scratched the surface, but one of the best things about gelato is its Italian heritage. When you choose gelato, you’re not just going to an ice cream parlor; you get to visit a gelateria. Instead of ordering two scoops of ice cream, you can ask for due gelati from your server. And let’s not forget the exotic names like stracciatella or limoncello that add an air of sophistication to your frozen treat experience. If you fancy a shot of espresso with your gelato, try an affogato and elevate your taste buds to new heights.

It’s safe to say that ice cream has nothing on gelato.

Tub of Gelato
Image: A tub of delicious gelato

To explore the world of gelato and discover a variety of irresistible flavors, visit Ice Cream, where you can find delightful gelaterias near you.

So, what are you waiting for? Treat yourself to a scoop of gelato and indulge in a healthier, tastier frozen dessert option.

Getting the best ice cream near me is easy! Find the nearest ice cream shop with our store locator. View hours, contact information, maps and driving directions

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