26 Aug

Whether you’ve been to Italy many times, or hope to visit someday, eating gelato is no doubt on your list. As the summer heat intensifies, what better way to cool your palate and bring a smile to your face than with some delicious gelato.


Gelato is Italy’s version of ice cream, yet tastes much better. Why? I wondered, and did a little research. Although I am much better at enjoying gelato than making it, here are three major differences I discovered:

  1. Gelato generally has less than 10% butterfat, compared to ice cream’s typical 18-25+ range. The lower butterfat causes the gelato to melt in your mouth faster and provides an immediate blast of flavor.
  2. Air is not added to gelato, giving gelato a higher density than most ice cream. This density results in gelato’s rich taste and very creamy texture.
  3. Although gelato is a frozen dessert, it can be served at a temperature 10°+ warmer than ice cream, adding to its creamier consistency.It's the picture of Italian ice-cream in a sho...

It seems as though you can find a gelateria, or ice cream store, in just about every town in Italy. Some have several, and the larger cities seem to have one on every corner. Cortona has several.




Although gelato is almost always good, the taste and quality can vary. I tend to shy away from outdoor ones in direct sunlight. You can just tell.

Gelato is typically presented in stainless tubs in large cooled glass displays.


Some newly designed modern displays are even becoming popular.



Cup or cone? Large or mini? Whatever you prefer.

Gelato Cones (Florence)

Need free samples to decide? Assolutamente!



As for flavors, think of the rainbow, or better yet, a large box of new crayons. Pink and yellow are not just added colors.


You can often expect actual pieces of fruit in the frutta gelato such as peach, pineapple, mango, banana or apricot. Creme are the creamy gelatos such as chocolate, vanilla, hazelnut, caffé, and pistachio.


What’s the most popular? Seems to be chocolate, although it comes in many varieties such as dark, extra dark, fudge, milk, etc. And the names seem to be as creative as the flavors. Learning them is like Intro to Italian I.

Gelato 2

Gelato 2 (Photo credit: minonda)

So, whatever your palate, there is always one flavor to please…in fact, probably several.  Thanks, Grandpa!


And of course, don’t worry if it starts to drip a bit. Besides tasting great, gelato is always finger licking good!


Gelato anyone?



2 Responses to “Gelato”

  1. Sandy Holswade August 26, 2013 at 3:22 PM #

    Judy – That was so much fun!! Larry and I have been enjoying Gelato since our trip to Italy with you and Len. We have found some pretty good ones – but none as good as the real thing served up in Cortona!


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