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Ice Cream vs. Gelato vs. Sorbet


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#31 macrosan

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Posted 24 July 2002 - 03:39 PM

Well if nothing else, Steven, you've got me ready to dive into Cones next time I'm in NYC. Where on Bleecker is it ? Is it conveniently close to Babbo :wink:

#32 Fat Guy

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Posted 24 July 2002 - 03:44 PM

Quite close. 272 Bleecker between Morton and Jones. Great (and pretty) sorbet too. A truly hideous establishment, though -- badly in need of a rethinking and renovation.
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#33 Sandra Levine

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Posted 24 July 2002 - 04:08 PM

As for the definitions, maybe it is simply that, in general, Italian ice creams (gelato) are made with more milk than cream, while American ice cream is made, again, in general, with more cream than milk. I'm sure that there are hundreds of recipes or formulas and variations.

#34 ahr

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Posted 24 July 2002 - 04:40 PM

Has Cones' management, "ice cream chef," or philosophy (if it can have a chef, it can have a philosophy) changed since it opened? I recall trying the place twice, sampling chocolate and one or more other unrecalled, probably fruit, flavors, and finding it too sweet, less to my taste than the subtler Ciao Bella.

In fact, I found it so sweet that I sent my sugar-cube-munching sucroholic friend, who pronounced it his kind of place.
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#35 Fat Guy

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Posted 24 July 2002 - 06:23 PM

I believe management/ownership/chefdom is unchanged.
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#36 LaurieA-B

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Posted 24 July 2002 - 11:14 PM

I prefer a really good gorgonzola with an old burgundy to either of these.

I think that La Casa Gelato may have a gorgonzola-burgundy flavor. Check it out the next time you're in Vancouver.
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#37 oraklet

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Posted 25 July 2002 - 02:49 AM

to whip the cream or not?

ice cream/glace/gelato made with whipped cream does not melt in the same way on the tongue as it does when un-whipped. all the little bubbles of air prevent the taste from coming through as intensely as when the ice cream melts "on the spot".

and maybe this is the basis of the confusion gelato v. ice cream. when the cones-guy states that ice cream contains a lot of cream, this may be because traditionally, american ice cream is made with whipped cream, whereas the low content of cream in gelato may reflect that traditionally the italians will create the structure of their gelato by gently heating the egg+cream/milk mixt. a procedure i think you can find in e. david's italian cooking?

but what do i know of american ice cream apart from haagen dasz...
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#38 macrosan

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Posted 25 July 2002 - 04:48 AM

I used to work (many years ago) for a company that owned an ice-cream manufacturer (Nielsen's in the UK). What I recall is that ice cream is made up of four primary ingredients --- milk, fat, water, air, and flavoring. They made four ranges of ice cream which all had totally different textures and styles. All they did was control the mix of the first four ingredients. The same milk went inot very creamy soft ice cream and hard non-creamy ice cream. They just injected different quantities of air at different pressures to achieve the result they wanted.

So I don't believe that major manufacturers use whipped cream at all. I guess they use milk, mix it with fat, and inject air. Soft ice cream that comes out of machines (like Mr Whippy or Mr Softee in the UK) have the air injected into the milk/fat mix by the machine. They have up to 90% air by volume.

I guess that the samll manufacturer who doesn't have that sort of machinery might use cream to avoid having to mix fat into the milk, and probably a regular beater rather than a pressurised air injector.

I am gonna get out there and do a Fat Guy. I'm going to eat ice cream till my gut is frozen solid, and ask the shops what they do. Wish me luck. In the immortal words of someone, "This could take a while".

#39 Wilfrid

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Posted 25 July 2002 - 09:30 AM

Macrosan, I thought where we came from ice cream was mainly made from cornflour. :sad: I must say, I can live without the stuff.

#40 phaelon56

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Posted 25 July 2002 - 09:34 AM

Best ice cream I've tried here in Northe Jersey is Applegate Farms in Montclair. Their cones/dishes on-site and handpacked pinits and quarts are excellent product but their pre-packed stuff from the freezer is just average at best.

Best gelato I've ever had was in Toronto's Little Italy - absolutely incredible and a way creamier feel to me than ice cream. I've had the same flavor gelato (Tiramisu) at Cones on Bleecker and found the stuff in Toronto to be far superior. Haven't been lucky enough to get to the Isle de St. Louis but had and insanely good fresh mango sorbet at Latitudes, the restaurant operated by Hilton on Sunset Key just off Key West FL. It may be owned by a chain but their sorbet was incredible. have been back there once since then and they had watermelon sorbet - very good but not in the same league as the mango.

Recently Oprah gave them a plug calling them the best ice cream producers anywhere. Instantaneous results, to the the point where they have had trouble keeping up with demand. Definately worth a try.


Hmmm... do you suppose she'll start an Ice Cream Club and pick some lucky viewers to join her at her palatial estate to eat ice cream and discuss its merits? Sign me up...

#41 ChocoKitty

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Posted 25 July 2002 - 02:06 PM

Didn't the definitional question of gelato vs. ice cream come up on The Splendid Table recently (like 2 weeks ago)? IIRC, the higher proportion of milk was one difference. The other was the temperature at which it's served: gelato is served at a higher temperature than ice cream, and therefore it melts on your tongue immediately to deliver that intense flavor. Ms. Kasper went so far to say that places that serve gelato at ice cream temperatures are missing the point.

Again, this is just from memory....

#42 Fat Guy

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Posted 25 July 2002 - 02:17 PM

There's a reference to David Rosengarten picking the best ice cream shops in America on the July 3 broadcast, but the writeup doesn't contain the kind of information you're talking about:

http://table.mpr.org/

I think you can listen to most of the shows online, via RealAudio.
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#43 Tim D

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Posted 25 July 2002 - 04:47 PM

Has anybody been to Il Gelatone on 3rd Ave. between 28th/29th? I know some serious gelato eaters who adore it.  Keep meaning to try.

That is the best gelato in NYC. Hands down. It is a close as you are going to come to the gelato of Florence.
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#44 d.hawksworth

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Posted 27 June 2004 - 09:10 AM

Looking for definitions or descriptors of the perfect ice cream and gelato - what are the essentials qualities you should be looking for?


DH

#45 megc

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Posted 27 June 2004 - 10:34 AM

Looking for definitions or descriptors of the perfect ice cream and gelato - what are the essentials qualities you should be looking for?


DH

For both gelato and ice cream, mouth-feel is important, I think. I don't like eating ice cream that is overly-fatty, where it leaves an unpleasant film on the roof of your mouth. But it should be creamy enough so that it is pleasantly smooth. Not too sweet (but sweet enough), also, with the main base flavor showing through, be it chocolate, blueberry, etc. For gelato, I like it's denseness but not to the point of hardness. I always enjoyed gelato that when you take a spoonful, it doesn't let go quite at first, but is sort of "stringy" (can't think of a better word). In gelato's case, not overly sweet and with the core flavors shining through. For ice cream, I don't like giant chunks of stuff in it, but prefer the stuff to be in smaller bits, more easily incorporated into my mouth without feeling awkward. :cool:

I'd love to learn to make gelato (vs. ice cream) with my ice cream maker (Cuisinart). I'm not sure how to get that lovely denseness going on, though, WITHOUT that powder that some gelaterias use. Does anyone have any suggestions, or if this has been discussed before, could I be pointed to the appropriate thread? Thank you!

#46 Ore

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Posted 27 June 2004 - 01:40 PM

One of my fav. foods...Gelato!!!



Well - Just earlier today I enjoyed 2 cones at Italy's ranked 13th gelateria...Bar Trieste in Jesi (AN).

The owner is a certified Italian sommelier and makes all of his gelatos from scratch - using all natural ingredients + all the ingredients are listed with the appropriate flavor.

I suppose the major diff. between the 2 is that Gelato is almost always with the presence of eggs - mostly yolks - it is richer, smoother than ice cream - and the freezers are diff.

I cant pinpoint it yet but a few more months in Italy and I should know the exact diff.!!!


Ciao

#47 irodguy

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Posted 28 June 2004 - 07:07 AM

Yep nothing quite like breaking at 15:00 for a nice Gelato at the local bar.

The main difference is that Gelato uses eggs and whole milk instead of cream. Overall Gelato has much less fat content than Ice Cream. The other difference depending on the quality of the Ice Cream; is that most Gelato is made "today” and from fresh ingredients.
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#48 slkinsey

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Posted 28 June 2004 - 08:02 AM

A few things:

As I imagine many know, "gelato" and "ice cream" mean the same thing in two different languages. Gelato is merely a specific style of ice cream that happens to be prevalent in Italy. We use "gelato" as short hand for "Italian-style ice cream" but it is just as much variation between different styles we call "ice cream: as there is between what we call "gelato" and what we call "ice cream."

I think it is a mistake to suppose that the use of eggs (i.e., a custard base) is a defining characteristic of Italian-style ice cream. First, it is not the case that Italian-style ice creams are always made with a custard base. Second, it is the case that plenty of American-style ice creams are made with a custard base. In fact, custard bases are so common that there is a special name for American-style ice cream made without a custard base: Philadelphia style.

The significant differences between the American and Italian styles are two

1. American style uses cream and has a much higher butterfat content. As the ice cream is frozen, air is actually "whipped" into the ice cream, making it lighter. Think about the texture of a fresh scoop of American-style ice cream -- all those little holes. This is possible because of the use of cream. Italian style uses milk and is not fatty enough to whip up.

2. Italian style is frozen and maintained at a much higher temperature. This temperature difference also contributes to a denser texture. One big problem with purchasing Italian-style ice cream in American grocery stores is that it is held at too low a temperature, which negatively affects the texture.

The end result of these two differences is that Italian-style ice cream is much more dense than its American counterparts. This provides a rich mouthfeel while at the same time being light due to the lower fat content. American-style ice cream works the opposite side of the equation. The air pockets provide lightness while the fat content provides richness.
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#49 Boris_A

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Posted 28 June 2004 - 08:30 AM

I visited once the gelato fair in Longarone, the place where many of the Italians who run Gelaterias in Germany and Austria are coming from. There have been recipe books, and many recipes included "wood sugar" (dextrose?) used in order to control the freezing point without the need to add too much real sugar (and sweetness therefore).

Even the smallest pro machine (1 gallone) had a very powerful motor (1 hp) to knead the raw gelato until sufficient low temperature and creating very fine crystals, I suspect. There must be some freezing vs. heating by kneading equilibrium working as well to get that consistency.
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#50 slkinsey

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Posted 28 June 2004 - 09:39 AM

Wood sugar is xylose, which Merriam-Webster says is a "crystalline aldose sugar (C5H10O5) that is not fermentable with ordinary yeasts and occurs especially as a constituent of xylans from which it is obtained by hydrolysisxylose." It is extracted from wood or straw and sometimes used in foods for diabetics.
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#51 alanamoana

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Posted 28 June 2004 - 03:45 PM

anybody have any thoughts as to where agar agar or other gelatin based products belong in this discussion?!

#52 Ganache

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Posted 28 June 2004 - 08:22 PM

Fom what I understand, the difference is in the way it is frozen. Gelato doesn't have air whipped into it like how ice cream makers make it. The machines are what makes it different

#53 Moopheus

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Posted 28 June 2004 - 08:37 PM

anybody have any thoughts as to where agar agar or other gelatin based products belong in this discussion?!

Gelatin and glycerine are sometimes used in sugar-free and fat-free ice creams, to create the illusion of an ice-cream-like texture. But real ice cream shouldn't have that kind of gunk in it.
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#54 weinoo

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Posted 02 June 2007 - 05:11 AM

So I'm getting into an ice cream/gelato/sorbet making mode, as I put away my bread baking for the summer.

I've got David's book as well as a number of other ice cream/gelato books (e.g. The Ice Cream Lover's Companion, by Diana Rosen; Gelato, by Elsa Petersen-Schepelern; The Ultimate Ice Cream Book, by Bruce Weinstein; assorted other booklets, recipes, etc.).

Yet I can't seem to come up with the perfect gelato recipe. Some books/recipes call for an all milk based custard; others for cream based custards or milk with half and half. What I'm really looking for is a gelato recipe that mimics some of the wonderful gelatos we've eaten both here (in NY) and in Italy. Anyone have that recipe that you're willing to share?
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#55 tim

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Posted 02 June 2007 - 12:32 PM

Mitch,

Most Italian gelato is made with whole milk providing about 6% butterfat content. (In Northern Italy they may add some cream) Gelato is made with up to 10 egg yolks per quart of milk. Flavor is typically infused into the custard. The custard is churned slowly to make a highly dense product which is served at about 25 degrees.

Lemon Gelato

3 cups whole milk (organic is recommended)
Zest from 6 lemons
1/2 vanilla bean split and scraped
8 egg yolks (organic)
pinch salt

1. Heat milk to 170 degrees. Pour over zest and vanilla bean. Cool in an ice bath and infuse at least 8 hours in the refrigerator.

2. Strain into a saucepan, add half the sugar, and bring to 170 degrees.

3. Whisk the yolks with remaining sugar until color lightens.

4. Temper the yolks with the hot milk while whisking adding 1/2 cup at a time.

5. When all the milk has been added, cook over low-medium, stirring continuously for 5 minutes or so, until the mix is thick enough to coat the back of a spoon. It should approach 180 degrees. (185 degrees will change the flavor)

6. Stir in a pinch of salt and transfer the pan to an ice water bath. Cool, stirring occasionally till the custard reaches room temperature.

7. Strain into a bowl and cover. Refrigerate overnight.

8. Transfer to a hand crank ice cream machine and crank slowly. (An electric ice cream maker tends to churn excess air into the mix.) When finished place in freezer for two hours.

9. To serve, check temperature and transfer to refrigerator, if needed to bring the temperature up to 25 degrees. Serve in very cold glasses.

Have fun,

Tim

#56 merstar

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Posted 02 June 2007 - 01:48 PM

I've made this chocolate gelato many times - it's incredibly rich and deep chocolatey. The first site I've posted also has other gelato recipes you might want to check out - the chocolate one is the second one down. The second site (Epicurious) includes ratings and reviews:

Chocolate Gelato Hotel Cipriani, Venice

http://www.virtualit...es/gelato.shtml

http://origin.www.ep...ews/views/14183
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#57 aguynamedrobert

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Posted 02 June 2007 - 09:13 PM

The one hard thing when making Gelato is the texture...You can make the flavor very good but without the proper machine you can't make true gelato. Gelato's air content in much lower than ice creams so you need a different machine that usually costs A LOT more money...

Just my two cents...

If you ever really get into gelato making then try an Emery Thompson Machine.

#58 ChristopherMichael

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Posted 02 June 2007 - 10:11 PM

I have done a ton of research on gelato, because I'm opening a gelato shop in the near future. First off, the major difference is that true gelato does NOT use egg yolks. The reason why egg yolks are added to ice cream is due to it being cheaper than adding cream. The egg yolks are used to try to create the creaminess and the thickness of using real cream. True gelato uses only cream and milk, more milk than cream and sometimes not any cream. I have also seen gelato made with a water base (not sorbet), usually when making a fruit gelato. The reasoning behind using more milk instead of cream is that the cream coats the tongue and when the tongue is coated with cream, your taste buds are not as receptive to the flavors. Gelato is also served at a higher temperature than ice cream, same reason as the cream, so it doesn't mess with your taste buds. When eating ice cream at a low temperature, it freezes or numbs your taste buds. One other major difference is the overrun, meaning the amount of air whipped into the ice cream/gelato as it's being churned in the ice cream machine. Less air equals more intense flavors and a creamier texture. If you take a gallon of ice cream and let it sit on your counter until it melts completely, you will end up with half or even less of liquid. If you do the same with gelato, you will end up with far more liquid than you would with ice cream.

The above information has come from many different sources that are in the business and are very successful. Some of them are from Italy and some taught by Italian gelato makers. I would take recipes from books with a grain of salt, because they're usually geared to the average home cook and not the industry. There are some gelato makers that use egg, but I find that it's far less than makers using no egg.

As for a great machine, I would recommend either a Carpigiani (use only a "G" machine) or Technogel. Both of these machines turn out some of the best gelato I have had, texture wise. I'm probably going with a Technogel myself. Both of the companies sell their machines for about 20K +/- a few k depending on the size.

Edited by ChristopherMichael, 02 June 2007 - 10:19 PM.


#59 weinoo

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Posted 03 June 2007 - 09:10 AM

Wow - thanks for all the information...quite obvious that there is not just one way to make gelato!

Does the whole milk available in Italy have more butterfat than what is available in the states?

Edited by weinoo, 03 June 2007 - 02:16 PM.

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#60 aguynamedrobert

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Posted 03 June 2007 - 10:20 AM

Whole milk in the USA is 3.25% butter fat and I think the Europe is the same or very very close.