Gelato Facts

What is Gelato?

Gelato is a fine Italian Gourmet dessert often compared to American Ice Cream. While in Italian, the word gelato translates to: “Ice Cream”, it actually contains much less air than ice cream as it is churned slowly. As a result, gelato is dense and offers a creamy sensation without all the butterfat. Due to its slow preparation, gelato features a robust flavor.

According to Charles Penati, the author of “Extra Ordinary Origins Of Everyday Things”, Gelato originated with a Chinese 4000 year old recipe. Cooked rice mixed with milk and flavorings were buried in snow. This was offered as a special dessert for festive occasions. In recent history, Gelato was perfected simultaneously in Northern and Southern Italy.

In the Dolomites Mountains, gelato was made with cream, sugar, eggs and natural flavors. It was served to tourists visiting the area during the summer time and has become a “Rich Man's Dessert”. Over the years, local gelato artisans took their craft to Austria, Germany and France to sell to wealthy communities. In the south of Italy, Gelato was lower in fat, predominantly water based, slightly higher in sugar and was called “Sorbetto”. Sorbets are not only served as desserts but are often used as palate cleansers between meal courses.

Al Gelato Chicago follows old Italian recipes and is an artisan, handcrafted delicacy. We use other fresh, all natural ingredients and hormone free milk from happy cows on nearby family owned dairies. Our products are free of gluten, preservatives, artificial colors, or corn syrup. We are also certified Kosher and Halal.


Here's what we know about GELATO:


** There are over 37,000 Gelato shops in Italy alone, whereas in the US there are only about 1200
** Famous artist and architect Bernardo Buontalenti is considered the inventor of gelato
** Sorbetto is a term for gelato that is made with water instead of milk
** The Italian Renaissance is when the great tradition of Italian gelato began
** Gelato was served for the first time at a banquet for the king of Spain in the late 16th century
** Gelato is a great source of calcium for non-milk drinkers
** In Italian, gelato means "Frozen"
** Gelato is lower in fat and has fewer calories than ice cream
** Gelato, especially when made with nuts, contains a high amount of protein
** Gelato made its way to the Americas for the first time in 1770


Gelato Mystery?

While it's no mystery that Gelato, Sorbetto, and Ice Cream are all delcious frozen treats, there still remains a mystery as to what makes them different. Examine and analyze the evidence below (based on an average serving of 3.5oz):



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