gelato spoonsAmerica is a country that loves its desserts. No meal is considered complete unless it's punctuated with a sweet treat. There are an endless variety of desserts out there, but one of America's favorites is definitely ice cream. In fact, about 1.5 billion gallons of ice cream and similar desserts are produced in the United States every year. But what's the difference between ice cream and gelato? Sure, they taste similar, but there are actually many distinct differences between ice cream and gelato.

Determining the difference between ice cream and gelato comes down to three main deciding factors: fat, air, and serving temperature. While ice cream has much more fat and air churned into it, gelato has less fat and not as much air churned into it during the freezing process, making for a stickier and almost elastic texture. Ice cream must have a fat ratio of at least 10% or it can't legally be labeled as ice cream. Gelato uses more milk than cream, so the fat content is much lower.

Additionally, gelato is much denser than ice cream because not as much air gets whipped into it during the churning process. When you take a bite of ice cream, it can melt almost instantly because of its excess air and subsequent lack of density. Gelato, however, is churned at a much slower rate to preserve its density.

Temperature is also important when discussing the differences between ice cream and gelato. While ice cream is generally served at around 10 degrees F, gelato is generally served a bit warmer to counteract its density. Serve it too cold and it'll be nothing but a hard brick.

Finally, there's a difference between ice cream and gelato spoons. Gelato spoons are smaller and more rounded than ice cream spoons. Since gelato is denser, many gelato eaters prefer the smaller bites gelato spoons provide.

All in all, ice cream and gelato both fall under the 'frozen dessert' category. Gelato provides a denser and milkier taste with less fat, but nothing beats ice cream if you're craving a smooth, light, and creamy taste. Don't forget the hot fudge and sprinkles!