It is too hot today! 33 degrees and I'm melting! What better way to cool off on these scorching days then with a nice scoop of cold Italian gelato! I loooove gelato!
Gelato is Italy's take on the ever popular ice cream, but with THREE big differences. Firstly, gelato has a significantly less butterfat than ice cream (hooray!). Ice cream generally has somewhere between 20-26% but gelato only has about 10%. (good news for the waistline!) Gelato is also much denser than ice cream as ice cream is produced by mixing cream, milk, sugar and then adding air. Manurfactures add air because it doubles the quantity of their product - therefore more bang for their buck. But not gelato, no air is added to it therefore resulting in a higher quality dessert with a richer and creamier taste. The final difference of Italy's ice cream is that gelato is served at a warmer temperature than ice cream. They are both served below freezing temperature, but gelato is served about 10-15 degrees warmer. Since it is warmer and less frozen, the taste of gelato is further enhanced as it melts in the mouth! Gelato is quite old, and dates back to the frozen desserts served in ancient Rome and Egypt - made using ice and snow!
Gelato is typically flavoured with resh fruits, nutes, or bakery products. I prefer gelato to ice cream for this exact reason. The flavours are so fresh and delicious, I would choose a scoop of mango gelato over ice cream any day!
Luckily, in Toronto, we are fortunate enough to have some fantastic spots for gelato. My two favourites are HOLLYWOOD GELATO and IL GELATIERE. HOLLYWOOD GELATO is a popular Leaside hangout, and a favourite spot of mine since highschool! They offer over 20 flavours, and they are all made in-house, daily using all natural inredients. My favourites there are coconut cream pie, pistachio, mango and lemon. But the Rockey Rocher and Chocolate Peanut Butter are two of their most popular flavours! I like my gelato a bit lighter which is why I choose fruit or nut tastes over chocolate.
IL GELATIERE is my other favourite spot, open annually, so whenever you feel the craving you can pop on over. They also do take home containers, which is great when you need a good gelato for dessert at a dinner party!
So get out there and beat the heat, cool off with a nice scoop of Italy's favourite treat, GELATO!
photo credit: google images