What is Gelato?


There can be confusion about the terminology used pertaining to Britain’s favourite frozen dessert. So you will be forgiven for not knowing if you are describing ice cream or gelato in the correct way. As a key manufacturer and supplier to the UK ice cream/gelato industry, at Antonelli we are aware that there are many variations of ice cream and gelato, which are subject to local or cultural interpretations. With no legal specifications or set definitions the boundaries can sometimes remain unclear.

With a wide knowledge and long term experience of the ice cream/gelato industry, Antonelli staff can give guidance on this subject. However, as with all regulatory matters, Antonelli recommend always to check with the relevant governing body, whether that is Environmental Health or Trading Standards. The reason being that it is the individual business which is liable, so it is always best to have the opinion of those who police or judge these matters.

What is the difference between gelato and ice cream?

We are often asked what is the difference between gelato & ice cream? In the same way that we describe a sugar cone is a flat topped, small square patterned rolled cone, and a waffle cone as a natural (no smooth edges) topped, large square patterned rolled cone, we define gelato as a soft frozen product made predominately with milk and a fat content of 5 – 8%. A similar product with over 8% fat is considered to be ice cream. It really can be as simple as that.

To further clarify, it is often said that gelato is only made with a batch process and served within a few days of making. The consensus is that this process is understood to be “artisan” as opposed to ‘commercial’ or ‘industrial’.

How has ice cream manufacturing changed?

A couple of generations ago, like many foods, the majority of ice cream was made with similar products with a similar process. It is fair to say that the machinery has become very much more complex, giving greater flexibility, control, speed and range of capacity. The increase in variety of ingredients comes alongside demand for more varied nutritional/dietary specifications, which has given rise to new brands and recipes for vegan, diabetic and products conforming to a host of allergens. The abolition of artificial colours and use of certified ingredients by several bodies has also driven innovation in recipe formulation.

With this background of change Antonelli is supporting its customers with innovative ingredients and advice on recipes. As well as supplying ice cream/gelato ingredients, Antonelli is the UK’s only manufacturer of waffle, sugar and wafer cones. Our range of Smoothy® cones is suitable for vegans at the same time as being the choice cone when it comes to the most fantastic accompaniment to ice cream.

How to serve ice cream/gelato to differentiate your brand?

As well as driving choice and specialism with ice cream/gelato recipes and flavours, as described above, the cones they are served on are also receiving the same attention. Customers looking for differentiation in the market increasingly select personalised sleeves or our classic Smoothy® waffle branded cones, printed with edible ink. Antonelli printed cones also include regional cones, depicting a dragon for Welsh made products using welsh milk, a thistle for the Scottish market and the shamrock for Irish products. The latest addition is our Smoothy® cone printed with the word “Gelato”, this being only available to those who are serving product with up to 8% fat.

To find out more ask your Antonelli Business Relationship Manager or see our personalised cones. Alternatively you can talk to one of our staff on 0161 789 4485.

Posted on 01 May 2018 Category Making ice cream

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