Gelato is not just an Italian word meaning Ice Cream! it is made totally differently. So why is gelato so much better than ice cream? For me it is the creamy taste of gelato. It is soft never served frozen hard. It has real fruit or nuts in it (not frozen bits). As you eat it, the softness caresses your tongue and the flavors hit hard. This is a real treat anywhere but in Italy it is always made perfectly.
My favorite is Nociolla (hazelnut). Everyone has a favorite or two or three. Italians love to eat their gelato as several scoops of different flavors of gelato. Most stores allow you to taste small spoonfuls of several flavors before ordering. Take time to look at the colors of the gelato. Italians are all about design. A great gelato store is displaying its product in a wonderful design.
So back to my original question … What is the difference between Ice Cream and Gelato? Gelato is the Italian word for ice cream. It starts out with a similar custard base as ice cream, but has a higher proportion of milk and a lower proportion of cream and eggs (or no eggs at all). It is churned at a much slower rate, incorporating less air and leaving the gelato denser than ice cream. The best news is gelato tends to have less calories than ice cream!
Whatever the differences, let your eyes enjoy the colors, let your taste buds enjoy the flavors and let the coolness satisfy you on a hot summer day. In Italy you eat gelato anytime.