BY: Molly Curry
FLORENCE, Italy – We, as a collective group of food writers, are generally ambitious people, and thus set a goal at the beginning of our trip to eat gelato at least once a day, every day that we are here. I am pleased to inform you that so far, we have stayed focused on our task, never straying from our righteous path.
This job has been made significantly easier by the fact that in the 15-20 minute walk to school we pass by over 10 gelato shops. And let me just say, I’m not mad about it.
But all this gelato consumption (admiration) made me ponder a hard-hitting question: how is gelato different from ice cream?
Let’s start with the basics. Gelato has a smaller fat base and a lot less air churned into it, giving it that thick, yet not too melty consistency that is perfect on a hot summer day. American ice creams are usually heavy on the cream (get it?), while gelato usually focuses on the milk, which is why it has less of a fat base. When ice cream is being churned, it is usually hard and fast, trying to pump as much air into the ice cream as possible. This makes it easier to scoop. Gelato churning is much slower. With less air in it, you might think the gelato would be a veritable ice-cold brick of deliciousness. It would be, but gelato is usually served at warmer temperatures than ice cream, so it stays soft.
While I do not believe in discrimination based on dairy product usage or otherwise, I must admit that to me, gelato is the superior frozen cream delight. From pistachio to banana. From pomegranate to Nutella. From mango to my personal favorite, dark chocolate. No matter the flavor, I’m very excited to continue towards our goal for a gelato filled trip!