Gelato: Its History and How it Differs from Ice Cream

gelatoGelato–which translates to “frozen” from Italian–is a frozen treat from Italy which was originally created in the 16th century. Historians are not sure who originally invented it, but the one of the most popular versions of the story is Bernardo Buontalenti, a native of Florence, created a form of the modern gelato. He impressed the court of Catherina dei Medici with his delicious frozen treat. From there is spread across Italy and then the rest of Europe. Shops began opening and the tradition passed from father to son for generations. This continues into today, all across the world.

Gelato came to the United States in 1770. It was introduced to the Americas by Italian native Giovanni Biasiolo. Unfortunately, it was around the same time that the hand crank freezer was invented and ice cream overshadowed gelato. In fact, historians don’t see much about this Italian dessert again until the 1900s. Now it’s become incredible popular across not only Italy and the United States, but across the world!

How is Gelato Different from Ice Cream?

You might wonder how these sweet treats are different. Gelato has much less butterfat, about two thirds less. It is also is more dense because is churned slowly and air is not whipped into the product, like ice cream. This makes for a much more flavorful final product. Although this Italian treat contains less butterfat, it contains more sugar. One fact about the differences between gelato and ice cream that you may not know is that gelato is served at a slightly higher temperature than ice cream. Normally, it is usually stored at 0° to 10°F, and served at 10° to 20°F, while ice cream can be stored in a deep-freeze of -20°F or colder.

Electro Freeze offers gelato machines for shops who want to treat their customers to this delicious Italian dessert. Contact us today to learn more about our products as well as what we have available. We have machines for ice cream, frozen yogurt, frozen cocktails, milkshakes, and more!