Difference Between Gelato and Ice Cream

Difference Between Gelato and Ice Cream

They may look alike, but there’s a difference between gelato and ice cream. They belong to the same family of frozen desserts.

Popularly consumed as a snack, gelato and ice cream are recognized worldwide as sweetened frozen foods.

This detectable goodness is considered a favorite of many. They share so many similarities, including the fact that they are both frozen treats and share the same significant ingredients like sugar, cream, and milk.

Nevertheless, they are also different, and this article will explore their differences. The difference between gelato and ice cream are:

1. Difference in Origin

One difference between ice cream and gelato is in their origin. The origin of ice cream is traced to ancient China. It was made from buffalo milk, flour, and ice then.

Later, the components of ice cream evolved and became a delicacy for the elite in the 1600s in England. At that time, it was called “Iced cream.” In contrast, the term ” ice cream” became known in the early-mid 1700s.

On the other hand, the origin of gelato is traced to Italy. Here, it became known in the 1500s, but it was in the 1900s that it became trendy among the Italians, and it was then that the term “gelato” was coined. Gelato is an Italian word for “frozen.”

2. Difference in fat content and calories

Just as the name “ice cream” implies, it has a higher ratio of cream and hence a higher fat concentration than gelato, which is of milk base. Ice cream has a 10% fat content when measured, while gelato with more milk has a 5 -7% fat content.

The fat content relates directly to the calories they contain. From The fat content analysis alone, one can infer that ice cream has more calories than gelato.

3. Differences in the concentration of air

One of the most striking differences between ice cream and gelato is air concentration.

Because ice cream has more fat that binds to the water molecule found in milk, it has a lighter density that allows air to be present.

Gelato, on the other hand, is naturally denser because it has less fat to bind with water molecules. During the churning process, Ice cream is churned fast.

It contains about 50% air which adds volume to it and gives the base a fluffy and airy texture as air is integrated during the churning process. In comparison, gelato incorporates less air as it is churned slowly. It contains 25-30% air.

4. Difference in taste and texture

Another difference between these frozen treats is their taste and texture. In terms of texture, gelato is silky and dense, with a creamy texture that just melts in the mouth.

It also has more flavor, whereas ice cream is light and soft and has an icier feel to the mouth and its butterfat content is not as flavorful as its counterpart. 

More so, ice cream mostly incorporates an artificial source of flavor and is icier. The cold numbs the taste bud and delays the detection of flavor.

Nevertheless, ice cream flavor lingers in the taste bud far longer than gelato. This is because the extra fat content in ice cream holds the flavor to the tongue for longer.

On the other hand, gelato has a more natural source of flavor, and its warm nature makes taste buds detect flavors fast.

5. Difference in temperature

Gelato is usually served at a warmer temperature of 10 -15° F, unlike ice cream, which is done at a colder temperature of 10°F, leaving the former at 6 – 8°C warmer than the latter.

There is a variance in temperature because of their content. Gelato has less air and fat consistency, so it can be served at a warmer temperature.

Ice cream with high-fat and fluffy content will turn soupy if it’s stored at the same temperature as gelato.


Gelato and Ice cream are delicious treats that so many people love. They can often be confused as being the same thing, but obviously, we’ve seen some differences between them.

In this article, we have examined the difference between gelato and ice cream, ranging from their origin, fat content, air concentration, taste, texture, and even temperature.

Despite the seeming difference between them, they are both frozen treats high in calories and sugar content, so it’s expedient that one should consume them in moderation.

Your choice of what to consume boils down to you in the long run. Whatever you do decide to drink, don’t forget to eat healthily.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You May Also Like