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Forget ice cream, try gelato

Juhi Dua
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August 04, 2006

It's the new rage amongst the ice cream crazy, a new taste people are getting hooked on to. It's gelato, the healthier, tastier and weight-friendly Italian counterpart to ice cream that contains no added flavours or preservatives.

What is gelato?

Gelato comes from the Italian word gelare, which means, 'to freeze.' It is actually an Italian freezing cold dessert, made with milk or soymilk and sugar, combined with exotic flavouring.

Gelato is prepared with fresh fruit or other ingredients such as pure chocolate, chocolate flakes or chips, cocoa, dried fruit and nuts, cookies or homemade sweets. Traditionally, the recipes included eggs, but they are not as commonly used now as other stabilizers have replaced them. A form of gelato is also made with water, without milk or soymilk, and is called sorbetto. This water-based dish originated in the hotter parts of Southern Italy and Sicily, whereas Northern Italy can be credited with creating the milk-based gelato.

In India, gelato is often made using flavours imported from Italy, although some outlets have added local flavours. The Coconut Gelato at some outlets in Mumbai is a relevant example.

Different from ice cream?

You bet it is. For one, it is a healthier option. Gelato has only four to eight per cent butterfat, depending on its different flavours, as against an ice cream's 18 to 26 per cent. However, less fat content does not make gelato any less tasty. On the contrary, it becomes less solidly frozen and thus melts in the mouth faster, making the customer relish its complete flavour immediately.

It's also more dense than normal ice cream. Air is added to a typical ice cream preparation to double the quantity, but this slices its quality into half. On the other hand, very little air is added while preparing gelato. So, what we get is a delectably flavoured dessert that is high on density, with a full-bodied, creamier taste. Unlike ice cream, gelato is never completely frozen solid. It is served 10 to 15 degrees warmer than ice cream and melts in the mouth easily, enhancing the taste further.

Gelato at its best

The best gelato is made fresh daily and served fresh. Much of the gelato experience lies in its semi-frozen consistency, so it should never be eaten too frozen.

Gelato comes in endless exciting flavours. Chocolate, Bacio (chocolate and hazelnut), Kiwi, Chocolate with mint, Lemon, Strawberry, Blueberry, Stracciatella (vanilla and chocolate), Wine Grape and much more -- that too, 94 per cent fat free. For lovers of chocolate, there's a lot to choose from. For the nut crazy, there's Roche and, for those who don't like nuts but are nuts about chocolate, a Kit Kat Sundae is a must try. The Choco Tango, a delicious blend of chocolate and orange, is one of the hottest selling flavours across all gelatarias.

The Manager at Gelato Italiano at Bombay Blues in Mumbai, says, "We have 37 flavours and keep rotating these to have 12 to 13 flavours every day. Fruit flavours depend on the season. Tuscan Twilight (with its minty flavour), the alcohol-free Baileys, Sicily Lemon (the Italian answer to our khatta nimboo), Blueberry, Wine Grape, Cherry Cheesecake, Honeydew Melon, Green Apple and Passion Fruit are some of the most sought after flavours."

Yasir Ali, director of Amore outlets in Mumbai, adds, "We have 150 flavours, with 14-16 to choose from at any given time. We will soon increase this to 20. The Belgian Chocolate, Tiramisu, Ferro Roccher, Pistachio, After Eight and Cookies and Cream are some of our top sellers."

The damage difference!

The price of gelato differs from chain to chain but, on an average, sorbetto costs Rs 40 per scoop and gelato costs Rs 60. Premium flavours cost more, while synthetic gelatos cost approximately Rs. 39 per scoop.

Where you can have gelato

Mama Mia
CMH Road


Infinity Mall
Andheri West

Phone: (022) 26311380


Shop no 1, B Building
Gagan Giri Chambers, Off Carter Road
Next to Crepe Station
Behind Caf� Coffee Day
Khar Danda

Phone: (022) 56208300, 26481559


Gelato Italiano
Malad Link road
Next to Shopper's Stop
Malad West

Phone: (022) 40057199


Have you tried gelato? Did you like it? Or do you still prefer a regular ice cream? Tell us

Also, recommend your favourite gelato destinations in your city/ town/district and tell us how to get there.  

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Read what others have to say:

Number of User Comments: 26

Sub: Mama mia Bangalore is awesome!!

i tried the gelato at Mama Mia! in CMH Road in Bangalore..and its the best!!! They even make new gelato cakes and gelato cheesecake cups ...

Posted by Ani

Sub: Mama Mia! gelato rocks!!!

You should try the Forest Berry yogurt and Orange Cheesecake at Mama Mia!. They have a better range of gelato than the other brands. I ...

Posted by nats

Sub: gelato

it contains less fat and is less churned but it can be light or rich . like frozen custured it is often served warmer than ...

Posted by prathibha

Sub: gelato franchise

would like to know contact nos and email ids of the concerned person who will supply gelato or give a franchise in pune for geltary

Posted by lalithaa

Sub: gelato

Is it vegetarian?? MAny Flavours imported from foreign countries (may be USED IN ICE CREAM) can often be non-veg. For example beta carotene(orangish red colouring) ...

Posted by Shalin


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