The Growing Popularity of Gelato

About one and a half years ago I discovered you can buy gelato makers for the home.   I was pretty excited about it because the last time I had gelato was in Rome, Italy with my Uncle Salvatore.

I’m a promoter of having gelato over ice cream because of some health and taste benefits.   Don’t get me wrong, I still like regular ice-cream (Turkey Hill for example – Natural line), but gelato truly is a class in an of itself.

A Brief Overview of Gelato

Regular ice cream can have up to 50% air content.   That explains why it’s so light and airy.  Gelato on the other hand has considerably less air content because it doesn’t mix in additional air during the mixing process.  Hence why gelato makers like the one I write about here advertises it’s air tight lid, which can’t be opened while the machine is running.

In addition, gelato uses whole or 2% milk rather than cream.   This makes it a lower calorie dessert than ice cream.

Retailers like Talenti are Catching On

I was in Martin’s (also known as Giant) the other day shopping with my husband and we were checking out the ice cream aisle.

When we were leaving empty handed (no good sales on the good brands), I decided to check and see if anyone sold gelato, and sure enough there were actually two brands that sold it!

The first brand was Talenti and the ingredients list was fairly decent.   Unfortunately they included additional chemicals and even included soy lecithin which knocks out people who are intolerent to soy.

I really wish they could do what Turkey Hill did with their All Natural Ice Cream line and keep to the basics – cream, non fat milk, sugar, vanilla and vanilla bean (for the vanilla ice cream).

For their Mint Chocolate Chip:  Cream, nonfat milk, sugar, chocolate chips, oil of peppermint.

Why can’t others do this too?

Gelato ingredients on the Talenti version called, Mediterranean Mint:  milk, sugar, cream, chocolate, dextrose, natural flavors (whatever that means), fresh mint, vanilla, guar gum, soy lecithin (that stinks for people who can’t have soy).

To be fair, Talenti isn’t too far off – it could be worse.  I looked at Martin’s store brand

called Simply Enjoy and  the list was much worse.  I didn’t take a photo, but when I do I’ll update this post.

For that reason, I passed on it and purchased Talenti.

My opinion of Talenti’s Mint gelato

The first thing I noticed was the texture.  My spoon slid right into the gelato.   I noticed the density of the gelato, but like I said the texture was smooth so it was a great balance.

The mint flavor was fairly mild and I’m glad it wasn’t overpowering like some are.  Nor was it overly sweet, unless I eat too much – as I’m doing now while I’m writing this. 🙂

My conclusion is that gelato is going to become more popular here in America.   Soon you’ll see retailers offering specialty gelato next to regular ice cream, most likely marketed as a healthier version.  I compared my gelato nutritional facts with another similar ice cream and Talenti’s came out ahead.  Less fat, less sodium, less sugar.

What I’m not impressed about are the extra ingredients that keep it from being a pure gelato.

Liz

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