A cool Italian classic

When summer comes, hordes of eager children – and adults – run to to the closest ice cream parlor. Maybe you have noticed that some of these frozen treats are very creamy while others are smoother and a few are denser. Not all of these desserts are made the same which means that summer brings one difficult decision: gelato or ice cream?

“Wait a second,” you might think, “isn’t gelato just the Italian word for ice cream?” Not really; there are actually quite a few significant differences between gelato and ice cream.


Gelato | (Image: Robyn Lee)

Gelato | (Image: Robyn Lee)


The gourmet tradition was born hundreds of years ago in the mountains of northern Italy where snow was used to keep the mixture of cream, sugar, eggs and flavorings at the perfect temperature. Compared to today’s American-style ice cream, Gelato has less fat, less air, and is served at a warmer temperature.  These differences make it denser and milkier and give it that wonderfully soft elastic texture that makes it the decadently smooth treat we love.


Gelato elastic texture

Gelato’s elastic texture


A selection of gelato on display in a shop

A selection of gelato on display in a shop


Finding authentic gelato outside of Italy is much easier today than it was in the past. If you are in the U.S., Pazzo Gelato in Los Angeles will satisfy your craving while in New York you can decide between many options including L’arte del Gelato and Amorino. Meanwhile, the sweet tooths of London indulge at Scoop and down under in Sydney Riva Reno is just what you’re looking for. The true secret for enjoying gelato is, of course, to find real Italian gelato; beyond that basic requirement here are some of our useful tips for enjoying this Italian delicacy!


Gelato from L'arte del Gelato in New York City | (Image: Robyn Lee)

Gelato from L’arte del Gelato in New York City | (Image: Robyn Lee)


 1. Gelato in a cone

Cono Gelato | An Italian must

Gelato in a cone | (Image: Robyn Lee)


A selection of gelato cones in a shop | (Image: Robert Crum)

A selection of gelato cones in a shop | (Image: Robert Crum)

  • In Italy, gelato is eaten first and foremost in a crispy waffle-like cone rather than a cup. The cone offers up a crunchy a crunchy texture that is the perfect contrast for the creaminess of gelato.


2. Gelato with brioche

Brioche | The Gelato sandwich

Brioche | Gelato sandwich

  • Like the perfect sandwich, this treat places the refreshingly cool sensation of gelato between the light and fluffy golden brown layers of sweet French bread.
  • Choose from your favorite flavors and, using a spoon, spread 1/2 cup gelato over the bottom half of a brioche. Top with the other half of the brioche.

 3. Affogato

The "Affogato"

The “Affogato”

  • Coffee lovers go crazy for the espresso and gelato combination of the Affogato.
  • Pour a shot of espresso (or 1/4 cup of strong coffee) over a scoop of vanilla gelato. Top with whipped cream and serve immediately.

4. Fresh fruit salad with gelato

Fresh fruit with Gelato

Fresh fruit with gelato

  • Gelato is the perfect ingredient for adding some sweet flavor to the bright notes of a fresh fruit salad.

5. Frappè

Frappe | The Italian Milkshake

Frappe, the Italian milkshake | (Image: Georges-Adrien Carcanis)

  • Similar to a milkshake, the Frappè is a dense and creamy drink made ​​with Gelato and milk. It is perfect on a hot summer day or as a midnight snack.
  • Fill your blender to the first line with milk. Add 2 scoops of gelato, using whatever flavor you like best. Mix everything, first at high speed then on low.