Ice cream is a wonderful treat. Usually referred to as a frozen dessert, ice cream is made from dairy and non-dairy products like milk, cream, soy, or rice milk and combined with sugars, flavors and food items to create an unlimited amount of choices for your palate.
Like microbrewers, artisan cheesecrafters and breadmakers, ice cream attracts passionate individuals. Ice cream quality varies depending upon the ingredients used, the percentage of butter fat, and the amount of air infused into the product during production. Cheap ice cream can be as high as 50 percent air, while quality ice creams have between 3 percent and 15 percent.
Ice cream is one of life’s ultimate indulgences. It’s up to you whether or not you want to splurge and eat the richest, creamiest, most decadent concoction you can find, or go half-way and find an ice cream that works for your diet. You don’t have to overload on sugar and saturated fat; try some non-fat and “slow churn” alternatives. If you are worried about your weight or health, there are five things to look for on an ice cream label per serving:
- 4 grams of fat or less
- 15 grams of sugar or less
- Less than 150 calories
- 3 grams or less of saturated fat
- No more than 10 milligrams of cholesterol (Baskin Robbins chocolate chip regular scoop has 60 mg)
If you want to put a positive spin on ice cream, calcium is a wonder nutrient because it never stops working in your body. Calcium helps control blood pressure, reduces the risk of certain cancers, reduces PMS, and may lower the chances of developing kidney stones.
Gelato is Italian ice cream. Milk-based gelato originated in northern Italy, while the fruit and water-based sorbet (or sorbetto) – higher in sugar content, but lower in fat – came from southern Italy. The difference between most U.S. ice creams and gelato are:
- Gelato is usually made from whole milk, eggs, sugar and cream and contains between 4 percent and 8 percent butter fat, while ice cream is usually made with cream and has a much higher fat content ranging from 10 percent to 26 percent. With gelato’s lower butter fat, it is less frozen than ice cream.
- Gelato has a much higher density than ice cream, Most ice cream manufacturers add air to their ice cream while no air is added to gelato. Gelato’s ingredients are not homogenized together like ice cream, and the result is that gelato melts faster.
Gelato is kept and served from a forced-air freezer, allowing it to keep its semi-frozen consistency, while ice cream is kept and served from a regular freezer. Gelato is served between 10 to 15 degrees warmer than ice cream, which can give it a smoother creamier taste.