Summers or not, it’s always a good time for dessert. While ice creams were the popular choice, its look-alike sister, gelato is also building up its popularity. Although from a distance, the two look the same, a bite of it will tell you they can be quite distinct. Ahead are some of their properties, and which one is a healthier treat.
Gelato and ice cream are creamy, frozen desserts made from ingredients including dairy and sugar. While it’s unknown who invented ice cream, its earliest renditions trace back to ancient China. A mix of buffalo milk, flour, and ice was said to be a favorite dessert of King Tang of Shang . Later versions of the dessert included fruit, juice, or honey served over fresh mountain snow.
However, ice cream did not become a popular dessert until the 19th century when technological advances in the dairy industry and refrigeration techniques allowed manufacturers to make and distribute it cheaply and in large quantities.
Gelato and ice cream share three main ingredients — dairy, sugar, and air. The difference lies in their proportions. Ice cream is churned fast, which folds in lots of air. Therefore, its volume increases by a large percentage as it’s being made. In addition to containing more air than gelato, ice cream also packs more cream, which translates to a high-fat content. What’s more, ice cream typically includes egg yolks, whereas gelato rarely will. Instead, gelato usually contains more milk.
So which one should you choose?
If you prefer a colder, firmer treat with a more buttery mouthfeel, ice cream will satisfy your needs.
If you prefer a more concentrated burst of flavor and silkier frozen treat that’s lower in fat, gelato is the way to go.
Whatever your preference, ice cream and gelato should both be eaten in moderation, as they are packed with sugar and calories.
Eating too many calories and added sugars can increase your risk of developing conditions, such as heart disease, obesity, cavities, and diabetes.
However, ice cream or gelato can be enjoyed as an occasional treat as part of a healthy diet.