Over the course of time, Italian artisan gelato has earned itself a reputation for continuous innovation in production methods, technologies and ingredients, often dictated by the needs of both practising and would-be gelato-makers.
The increase in running costs and in the investment needed to open a gelato parlour and the lack of available capital has prompted the gelato sector to develop new technologies and products, which need less investment and are more appropriate for small gelato shops, or to the needs of bars, cafés, pastry shops and restaurants. In addition, overseas, where the culture of gelato and ice cream is different, gelato development strategies are often very different from those in Italy.
Creamy express gelato is one of these innovations – a gelato served straight into a cone or tub. As well as being fresh, it’s light and soft after being mixed with air (in a process known as overrun). It requires less equipment, and smaller, cheaper machinery. An ideal solution if you’re looking to serve a smaller range of flavours, focussing on the more traditional big sellers.
Less space and less investment but also maximum freshness, as it is whipped at the last moment, just before serving. As it isn’t kept in refrigeration units or in typical showcases, its characteristics remain intact and even when stored in the family refrigerator, its innovative composition helps it stay creamier and less hard. In a nutshell, this is a soft-serve gelato but with all the characteristics of the finished hand-made craft product.
Gelato ingredient and equipment manufacturers have jumped at this new opportunity by developing tailor-made products for even better results: indeed, today there are several types of machine: wall-mounted, table-top, adjustable, fully or semi-automatic, as well as various outstanding semi-finished ingredients.
Express gelato can be classified as a soft-serve gelato but made with the ingredients typically found in Italian hand-crafted gelato: with the same proportion of fats, sugars, proteins and air (overrun). But even from a technological point of view, it can be regarded as hand-crafted, as it is made in a batch freezer.
The only real difference with hand-crafted gelato is the serving temperature (-6 to -8°C), which makes it even creamier.
In short, creamy express gelato requires less investment, involves lower running costs, less knowledge of production methods and less work, while maintaining top quality in the finished product: an interesting solution for both Italy and overseas.
Who is it for?
- small-scale express gelato parlours
- bars, cafés, pastry shops
- takes up less space
- smaller range of flavours means lower investment
- lower overhead costs (energy, water)