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.
Categories: Europe, Fruit, Gelato, General Travel, Italy
Tags: Food, Gelato, Ice cream, Italian, Italian cuisine, Italian people, Italy, No Tour Touring, Tourism, Travel and Tourism
Gelato is Italian ice cream but it’s so much more. First of all it is made differently. Gelato has three differences from ice cream:
- Fat – Gelato uses less of it. Fat is important to slow down crystallization.
- Sugar – Since recipes vary greatly for both ice cream and gelato, sugar is about the same. We have noticed in Italy in general things are made with less sugar than in America.
- Temperature – Gelato is served at higher temperatures than ice cream. It is similar to American custards. If you freeze gelato it will turn hard as ice.
Gelato stores exist in just about every city in Italy. In big cities like Rome, they seem to be on every street. Typically you enter the store and look at the many selections of gelato they have. They will let you taste a few. Then you go to the cashier and tell them what you are having. How many scoops and cone or cup. You pay and get a receipt. Next take it back to the gelato counter and give it to a server and tell them what flavors you want. They hand you your delicious gelato.
Italians usually eat it standing and talking or walking the streets. Some stores have small seating areas. Gelato is good on a hot summer day but it is also great in the winter. Its soft texture and strong pure flavors are so much better than ice cream. The color of gelato is from what fruit or nut is in it. The ingredients get ground up and color the gelato. If you get strawberry for example, there are no chunks of strawberry in it. The strawberry have been ground up and color the gelato red. Every bite has a wonderful strawberry flavor. Our favorite is Nocciola, a hazelnut gelato. The hazelnuts turn the gelato a light brown. Each bite has a wonderful hazelnut flavor.
If you are headed to Italy, you must try their gelato. It will calm you and bring a smile to your face.
George & Jo Anne
We have been talking about living in Italy, touring small towns, the beaches and eating great food. Now we have two topics that are near and dear to our hearts. Italian wine (especially locally made wines) and Gelato. Gelato is not ice cream! Ice cream is made with cream and gelato with milk. Therefore gelato has fewer fat and calories. Ice cream is also made with egg yolks but gelato uses fewer if any eggs. Gelato is always served cold but not frozen, similar to our soft ice creams. The taste is so much better especially better than bland store ice creams. The Italians chop up all kinds of things from fruit, nuts, chocolate to candy in the gelato. It is finely chopped so much you never get a piece in your mouth but every bite has full flavor. You can find gelato in every town big or small. It is a national pass time in Italy. You can get it in different size cones or cups even a waffle cone. The choices are usually vast. Undecided on which flavor to get? Ask for a taste. They will give you a small amount on a tiny spoon so you can decide. Try several then order. On a hot day, gelato is what is need to cool down and enjoy life again.
Wine is Italy. Italians all drink wine. They have reds, whites and sparkling. You can sweet (dolce) or dry (secco). Every area of Italy makes their own wines. I think to be a true Italian, you must have olive trees and grape vines on your property. There are stores that sell wine, Enotecca that let you taste different wines and serve small amounts of food. Every restaurant has a wine list. The best wines are often locally produced and don’t come in a bottle. They come in large casks or glass containers to be dispensed at the restaurants. You can order a glass, half liter or full litter carafe of these wines. They are much less expensive because there is no bottle, cork, labels, etc. They are just as delicious if not better than most of the commercial wines.
When you visit a new area seek out an enotecca. Ask to try the different local wines. Tell them your preference (white/red and sweet/dry). Make note of the ones you really like. Now at a restaurant ask what the local wine is. If it is one of the ones you liked, you will enjoy it. Wine is everywhere in Italy. It is served at lunch, dinner and in between. People take it to the beach and parks to enjoy with a panini (sandwich). Amazingly you do not see drunk Italians running around. I have seen a few drunks in Italy and almost always they were tourists visiting Italy.
We leave for our place in Velina, Italy tonight. Our next BLOG will be on Monday September 8th. We will discuss this trip in detail and the beaches we visited.
George & Jo Anne
Categories: Campania, Champagne, Eating Italian, Europe, Gelato, General Travel, Italy, Velina, Wine
Tags: Campania, Cilento and Vallo di Diano National Park, Food, Gelato, Ice cream, Italian, Italian cuisine, Italian people, Italy, No Tour Touring, Velina, Wine
The above picture is me sitting at a bar/cafe in Marina Casal Velino Italy (Campania). This is in Italy’s National Park, Cilento.
Italiano: Un tratto pedonale del lungomare di Casal Velino Marina. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
Across the street is the beach and the mighty sea. This bar has free WiFi so it is a great place to rest, catch up on emails and Facebook while having a gelato (ice cream), Panini (sandwich) or a drink. The Coffee called Cafe´(espresso) is fantastic. The machines produce such a great cup of coffee that Italians always go to these bars in the morning for a cup.
Imagine relaxing with a glass of wine after a day of walking around, you are on WiFi but you keep looking out at the sea. Palm trees are everywhere. This is our beach. Life is to be enjoyed! So what are you waiting for? Romance and adventure await you.
George & Jo Anne
Categories: Campania, Casal Velino, Europe, General Travel, Italy, Wine
Tags: Campania, Casal Velino, Cilento and Vallo di Diano National Park, Coffee, Facebook, Food, Ice cream, Italian, Italian people, Italy, No Tour Touring, Panini, Romance, Tourism, Travel and Tourism, Wine