Back in July I went on holiday to Mallorca with my family. Most nights after dinner on the port, we would stroll home, stopping at the bustling ice cream shop for dessert.
One evening I got in a little debate with my mum. Mum, who has Italian roots, laughed at me when I said there was a difference between ice cream and gelato claiming ‘gelato’ was just the Italian translation of ice cream.
While I know this is certainly true, I remembered reading somewhere that the way both are made and the ingredients do differ slightly.
After a bit of Googling I was proven to have been right.
From what I gather, gelato uses a greater amount of whole milk than cream in the base, meaning it is slightly lower in fat. It is also churned at a much slower rate, meaning less air is incorporated into the mixture leaving you with a denser finish. Apparently, these differences mean gelato has a more intense flavour than ice cream, which I do believe is true.
These distinctions give ice cream and gelato a different consistency overall. Ice cream is either hard when frozen, or melting, there is little in between. It should be served cold or it turns to a very tasty sweet soup pretty fast, whereas gelato should be served at room temperature where is stays soft, almost elasticy, without melting too quickly. Almost like a cool big blob of cake frosting.
Anyway, yes, I’ve probably gone too much into this. Gelato is indeed the Italian word for ice cream and they’re both essentially the same but there is no doubt in my mind that the best I’ve eaten has always been in Italy.
Which leads me to my next point. If you are ever in Italy and pass a Grom gelato shop, go inside.
I have just come back from my cousin’s amazing wedding in Bardi, where my mum’s family is from. After the wedding we headed to Milan to visit the Expo, a huge exposition focusing on food; sustainable food, slow food, nutritious food, food from different cultures and all corners of the world. It was really impressive and thought provoking and I’d recommend it to anyone who thinks they can get to Milan before the end of October.
As I was flying back that evening, I had my suitcase with me. There was no where to leave it so we ended up dragging them around all day, pretty tiring work let me tell you. By about 4 o’clock we all agreed we needed a break and spotted a gelato stall that looked particularly tempting.
Grom uses ‘the absolute highest-quality raw materials’ to make its ice cream. All of the ingredients are natural, the freshest fruit, organic milk and eggs, nothing artificial at all. And you can really tell from the taste.
Choosing what to have is the hard part with flavors like salted caramel, espresso and tiramisu. I went for my new favourite, pistachio, which was dense, fragrant and such a pleasing pastel green with ‘crema di Grom’, an eggy ice cream stuffed with chunks of their homemade biscuit and chocolate chunks.
After polishing this off pretty quickly, we went straight back to join the queue to buy another. The stracciatella (a flavour I always deem too boring) was too hard to ignore, a silky thick vanilla with huge dark chocolate chunks sleeping within it.
As you can gather, we all thoroughly enjoyed ourselves at Grom, even Sergio, a dear Italian friend who’s the fussiest man I’ve ever met. If anything gets his seal of approval then you know it’s a goodun’.