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Gelato (Italian pronunciation: [dʒeˈlaːto]) is a popular frozen dessert of Italian origin. It is generally made with a base of 3.25% milk and sugar. It is generally lower in fat than other styles of frozen desserts.[1] Gelato typically contains 70% less air and more flavoring than other kinds of frozen desserts, giving it a density and richness that distinguishes it from other ice creams.[2][3]

Place of originItaly
Serving temperatureCold
Main ingredients3.25% milk, sugar, flavoring ingredient (e.g. – fruit or nut puree)

Gelato as we know it is credited to the Italian chef Francesco Procopio dei Coltelli who in the late 1600s opened his “Café Procope” in Paris and introduced gelato at his café, earning notability first in Paris and then in the rest of Europe.[4] Thanks to his gelato, Procopio not only obtained French citizenship, but also got an exclusive royal licence issued by the Sun King Louis XIV, making him at the time the sole producer of the frozen dessert in the kingdom.[5]

Nowadays, gelato is known worldwide and Italy is the only country where the market share of artisanal gelato versus mass-produced gelato is over 55%[6][7], with more than 5,000 modern Italian ice cream parlors employing over 15,000 people.[8]



The traditional flavors of gelato consist of vanilla, chocolate, hazelnut, pistachio, cream (also known as custard), and stracciatella (fior-di-latte gelato with chocolate chunks). [9]

The more modern flavors consist of fruity flavors such as raspberry, strawberry, apple, lemon and pineapple.[9]


The hot process consists of heating the ingredients to 85°C (185 °F) for pasteurization. Then, it is lowered to 5°C (41°F) and mixed to the desired texture.

The cold process mixes the ingredients and is batched in the freezer.

In the "sprint" process, milk or water is added to a package of ingredients which is then mixed and batched.[10]

As with other ice creams, the sugar in gelato prevents it from freezing solid by binding to the water and interfering with the normal formation of ice crystals. This creates smaller ice crystals and results in the smooth texture of gelato.[11] American commercial gelati are typically sweetened with sucrose, dextrose, or inverted sugar, and include a stabilizer such as guar gum.

See alsoEdit

  • Custard, a dessert made with cream, eggs and vanilla
  • Frozen custard, a frozen dessert made with cream and eggs
  • Frozen yogurt, a frozen dessert made with a base of yogurt rather than milk
  • Granita, a semi-frozen dessert made from sugar, water and various flavorings
  • Italian ice, also known as water ice, a frozen dessert made from either concentrated syrup flavoring or fruit purees
  • Semifreddo, a class of semi-frozen dessert
  • Sorbet, called sorbetto in Italian
  • Stracciatella


  1. ^ "Nutritious facts on gelato compared to ice cream". San Francisco Gate. Retrieved 20 August 2014.
  2. ^ Ferrari, p. 21
  3. ^ Poggioli, Sylvia (17 June 2013). "Italian University Spreads The 'Gelato Gospel'". NPR. Retrieved 7 July 2016.
  4. ^ "Francesco Procopio dei Coltelli: the man who invented gelato". Retrieved 8 August 2019.
  5. ^ "Francesco Procopio dei Coltelli: the man who invented gelato".
  6. ^ See
  7. ^ See
  8. ^ See, outside of Italy the bigger number of gelaterie is located in UK, France, Germany and north Europe in general.
  9. ^ a b "Traditional Flavors | WhyGelato". Retrieved 16 April 2018.
  10. ^ "How It's Made | WhyGelato". Retrieved 24 April 2018.
  11. ^ Omran, A. Monem (July 1974). "Kinetics of ice crystallization in sugar solutions and fruit juices". AIChE Journal. 20 (4): 795–803. doi:10.1002/aic.690200422.


  • Ferrari, Luciano (2005). Gelato and Gourmet Frozen Desserts - A professional learning guide. ISBN 978-1-4092-8850-3.

External linksEdit