What Is Gelato?

We can’t tell you how many times customers have asked us simply, “What is gelato?” So here is the scoop. Gelato is Italian ice cream, but it greatly differs from American ice cream. There are several characteristics that set the two apart.

  1. The base ingredient for American ice cream is heavy whipping cream, while gelato is made with milk. At Legato, we use whole milk from our local dairy farmers: TN Real Milk out of Orlinda, Tennessee, and JD Country out of Russellville, Kentucky. Because gelato is created with milk instead of cream, it is lower in butterfat than traditional ice cream. So, while some ice cream carries up to 22% butterfat, most gelato only runs around 5-9%.
  2. The process we use to create our gelato and sorbetto introduces less air to enter the mixture than traditional ice cream. We use imported Italian equipment made especially for gelato production. The combination of our recipes and equipment lends a less-aerated, more flavorful gelato.
  3. Lastly, one of the most obvious differences between ice cream and gelato is the temperature. Gelato is served at a warmer temperature than ice cream, normally around 17° Fahrenheit.

For all these reasons, gelato has a richer, creamier flavor than most ice creams or frozen yogurts. At Legato Gelato, we pride ourselves on using all natural ingredients, with no dyes or artificial flavoring. We source our milk locally and use the freshest ingredients we can find. Our recipes aren’t clouded by excess air or butterfat, which helps create their unique, full, and delicious taste. Basically, we create a better product with less filler and more flavor.