What To Serve With Gelato

A few months ago the gang all went to Vegas.  Of course this entails wandering around the casino, including the food and shopping area.  It seemed like every casino has a gelato vendor.  What the heck is Gelato and why is it so popular?  Is it that much better than ice cream?  Enough to make it $9.00 for a single scoop?  I always thought gelato was just translated from Italian to “overpriced ice cream”.  It turns out that gelato is not the same and here is why:

  • Less butterfat than ice cream.  Typical vanilla and chocolate ice cream can contain as much as 18-26% butterfat, while gelato is significantly less at about 10%
  • Less solid.  Due to the lower amounts of butterfat gelato has a less solidly frozen texture to it.  Because of this it melts faster and you taste the full flavors immediately.
  • More dense.  What does that mean?  Well, when manufacturer’s produce ice cream in addition to cream, milk and sugar they add in air.  This can double the quantity of the product, essentially filling that cardboard container with less actual product.  Because gelato does not whip in air into their recipes it creates a richer, creamer taste.
  • Gelato is served a little bit warmer than ice cream.  This helps to enhance the taste by allowing it to melt in your mouth faster.  I wonder if this makes less brain freeze…
  • Gelato uses real fruits, nuts, milk and creams, not syrup

So the big question is is it worth the higher price tag?  I suppose that depends on where you draw your line for cost vs. quality.  It sounds a little like debating are organic carrots with the extra cost over regular carrots.  What do you think?