To explain what gelato is, let’s start with some of the best-known definitions:
Sweet food, consisting mainly of milk, eggs, fruit, chocolate or other ingredients, frozen so that it looks like a smooth, consistent ice-free paste.
Translated from the “Dizionario della Lingua italiana, Giacomo Devoto e Gian Carlo Oli”.
Food preparation consisting of a mixture of simple raw materials and semi-finished products (sugar, milk, cream, eggs, fruit, flavoured pastes) that is frozen while it is being churned until it reaches a certain consistency and smooth texture.
From the “Dizionario di Scienza e tecnologia del Gelato Artigianale”, by Luca Caviezel.
The word “gelato” has not always been used – in fact it was not introduced until the 19thcentury as an adjective (meaning “frozen”) for the word “sorbet”.
Gelato has three different states:
- Solid: ice crystals, consolidated fat, other non-soluble substances
- Gaseous: incorporated air
- Liquid: non-frozen water, mineral salts, proteins…
The factors to consider when we talk about hand-made gelato are as follows:
- The ingredients
- Organoleptic values
- Nutritional values