Italian Ice cream: The Culture of Gelato and its Amazing Flavours


Italian ice cream, better known as ‘gelato’, is one of the best-known and appreciated desserts around the world. Even if lately there has been a trend to apply the name gelato to just about any kind of ice cream, hoping to make it sound more alluring, there is certainly a difference in the recipe of gelato compared to the ice cream traditionally made in the UK or US.

Moreover, there is a substantial difference between gelato and ‘gelato artigianale’, the latter being made free of any industrial products and completely fresh.

Let’s look at gelato artigianale in more detail!

Gelato Milano
Gelato Milano – Image source –

Gelato Artigianale: What is the Difference?

The main difference is, in certain gelaterie, the wording gelato artigianale is a guarantee of freshness. It is also a certain type of procedure in the making of this ice cream. More specifically, there will be a lab in the back of the gelateria where the ice cream is produced freshly each day.

And one last thing, there will be no use of products such as powdered, lactose preparations that are normally added to the fresh ingredients in other ice cream.

Gelato artigianale is generally less creamy and it will have more of a delicate flavour. The absence of thickeners and additives will give it a medium consistency which is neither too soft and creamy nor too hard and flaky. This type of Italian ice cream will be very palatable and the best thing; it won’t melt quickly and fall to your feet unlike many other cream-based ice creams do.

This delicate ice cream is also nutritionally well balanced and won’t have a high percentage of fats and sugars. Instead, it will have an equal amount of nutritional elements. Another important factor is the recognition of the flavour; gelato artigianale will never have an uncertain taste, but it will be clearly recognisable due to the use of natural-only ingredients.

Gelato Burnt sugar, hazelnut and chocolate – Image Source –

The Strangest All-Natural Flavours of Italian Ice Cream

In some famous ice cream shops around Italy you can find some really interesting, yet all natural flavours of gelato. Here is a list of the most unusual flavours we have come across so far:

Basil Pesto: In Liguria, the home of pesto, this new flavour of gelato is leaving everybody speechless! Pesto ice cream is a must try and really refreshing; perfect for hot summer days!

Ricotta Cheese, Figs and Walnut: This is an amazing flavour which is very popular in Naples, where the use of the ricotta cheese is extremely common in many cakes and desserts. This gelato has a delicate yet extremely defined flavour, ideal for those who love nutty, autumnal aromas.

Cacio & Pepe:  In Rome, where the Cacio & Pepe pasta dish is a must, this ice cream flavour is a real showstopper! The strong flavour of goats’ milk cheese and the aroma of pepper will turn a trip to the gelateria into a unique flavour experience!

Parmigiano in Scaglie: A must-try in Parma. This gelato puts together the best of Italy: the art of ice cream making and the amazing taste of Parmesan, Italy’s favourite cheese.

Wine Gelato: In Sicily you’ll be able to sample Pantelleria Passito wine gelato. This gorgeous ice cream is made from the sweet Muscat wine produced on the Island of Pantelleria!

Now that you’ve learned something new about Italian ice cream we’re hoping that you’re not craving one too much. Can’t wait until your next visit to Italy to try gelato? Check out our No Ice Cream Maker Vanilla Gelato recipe to keep you satisfied!

Author: Food Blogs

Co-Founder and Blogger at Alan likes nothing better than a hot home cooked dinner! You can find him whizzing downhill on his mountain bike or listening to music on his Ipod.

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