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What Is Gelato?

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAGelato (jay-lah-toh) is an Italian word meaning “frozen.” When referring to food, it means ice cream. It is made with virtually the same ingredients as ice cream, but in different proportions and with slightly different techniques. In America, to be officially classified ice cream it must contain at least 10% fat. Most well exceed this, usually containing 14% and some reaching as high as 22%! Gelato ranges from 6-8% fat, and our fresh fruit sorbetto contain no dairy and have 0% (ZERO) fat!

Gelato contains less air than ice cream, so it is dense and creamy, and has a higher serving temperature, giving an intense, clean perception of the flavor. Gelato is art. Gelato is ice cream the way it was meant to be!

The history of gelato and ice cream is shrouded in mystery, with many cultures claiming to have invented it. Early civilizations enjoyed fresh snow mixed with fruit juice or other ingredients for the first frozen treats. Not much changed significantly until the invention of refrigeration.

The first frozen desserts came to the U.S. in 1770, when Giovanni Bosio, an immigrant from Italy opened the first gelateria (gelato shop) in New York. From there, the ice cream craze took off in America, making us all happier people. Read more for a fact-based look at the history ice cream.