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Gelato (Italian pronunciation: [dʒeˈlaːto]; plural: gelati) is the Italian word for ice cream, derived from the Latin word "gelātus" (meaning frozen). In English it generally refers to varieties of ice cream made in a traditional Italian style. Gelato is made with milk, cream, various sugars, and flavoring such as fresh fruit and nut purees.
The sugar content in homemade gelato, as in traditional ice cream, is balanced with the water content to act as an anti-freeze to prevent it from freezing solid. Types of sugar used include sucrose, dextrose, and inverted sugar to control apparent sweetness. Typically, gelato—like any other ice cream—needs a stabilizing base. Egg yolks are used in yellow custard-based gelato flavors, including zabaione and creme caramel, and non-fat milk solids are also added to gelato to stabilize the base. Starches and gums, especially corn starch, are sometimes also used to thicken and stabilize the mix.
In the United States there is no standard of definition for gelato set forth by the U.S. Department of Agriculture, as there is for ice cream. Whereas ice cream in the U.S. is defined by the Federal Code both by its ingredients, which includes milk fat (also known as butterfat) of 10% or more, gelato in the U.S. covers a wide range of products including frozen desserts eaten like ice cream; products that are identical to ice cream with the exception of their butterfat contents; and premium ice cream containing butterfat far exceeding the minimums set forth in Italy. Depending on the recipe and the person making it, dairy-based gelato contains 16–24% sugar. Most ice cream in the United States contains 12 - 16% sugar.
The history of gelato dates back to frozen desserts in Sicily, ancient Rome and Egypt made from snow and ice brought down from mountaintops and preserved below ground. Later, frozen desserts appeared during banquets at the Medici court in Florence. The Florentine cook Bernardo Buontalenti is said to have invented modern ice cream in 1565, as he presented his recipe and his innovative refrigerating techniques to Catherine de' Medici, who in turn brought the novelty to France as Queen consort, where in 1686 the Sicilian fisherman Francesco Procopio dei Coltelli perfected the first ice cream machine. The popularity of gelato among larger shares of the population, however, only increased in the 1920s–1930s in the northern Italian city of Varese, where the first gelato cart was developed. Italy is the only country where the market share of handmade gelato versus industrial one is over 55%. Today, more than 5,000 modern Italian ice cream parlors employ over 15,000 people, mostly Italians.
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Making gelato is similar to making ice cream. The mixture for gelato is typically prepared using a hot process first, where the sugars need to dissolve. White base is heated to 85 °C (185 °F) completing a pasteurization program. The hot process to make chocolate gelato is essentially the same for conventional ice cream, and depending on recipes, it is meant to be traditionally flavored with cocoa powder and cocoa butter.
- Frozen custard, a frozen dessert made with cream and eggs
- Italian ice, a frozen dessert made from either concentrated syrup flavoring or fruit purees.
- Ice cream
- Semifreddo, a class of semi-frozen desserts.
- Spaghettieis, the German style of frozen dessert made to look like a dish of spaghetti, sometimes made with gelato
- Granita, a semi-frozen dessert made from sugar, water and various flavorings.
- Frozen yogurt, the cultured, frozen milk product, with a tart flavor
- Gelato University
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Gelato.|
- "What Is Gelato?". wiseGeek. Retrieved 16 May 2012.
- Ferrari, p. 21
- "CFR - Code of Federal Regulations Title 21". Accessdata.fda.gov. Retrieved 2012-09-10.
- Storia del gelato. Interfred.it. Retrieved on 2012-07-06.
- See italiangelato.info
- See gelatoartigianale.it
- See guide.supereva.it, outside of Italy the bigger number of gelaterie is located in UK, France, Germany and north Europe in general.
- Ferrari, Luciano (2005). Gelato and Gourmet Frozen Desserts - A professional learning guide. Lulu.com. ISBN 978-1-4092-8850-3.