Type to search

Ice Cream vs. Gelato


The base is similar (milk, cream, and sugar) in both, but gelato (above) has more milk, less cream, and typically doesn’t contain egg yolks, which are a common ingredient of ice cream. As a result, the fat content is higher in ice cream (at least 10 percent, usually between 14 and 25 percent), while Italian gelato is only 4 to 9 percent fat. (Yes, the American product is fattier, what a surprise…)

Second, gelato is churned at a slower rate, so less air is incorporated, yielding a denser (and more intensely flavored) product. Ice cream churns faster, so the increase in volume is substantial — by at least 25 percent and up to 90 percent — resulting in a more airy treat.  

Lastly, ice cream is best served at 10°F, while Italian gelato is served about 10°–15° degrees higher. 

In the mood for a comparison? Lighthouse Ice Cream Kompany (127 W Main St, Tarrytown; 914.502.0339; www.lighthouseicecreamkompany.com) does an admirable job on both cold treats.