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  • What is the difference between Gelato and Ice Cream?
    By far the #1 question asked in gelato shops around the world. ​ Gelato is the Italian word for ice cream, so when in Italy it is ok to use either term and ask for gelato or ice cream. Outside of Italy and especially in the USA, ice cream is a totally different frozen dessert. Here are the 3 main differences; ​ Fat – ice cream in the USA by law must contain a minimum 10% butterfat. An average ice cream has between 18 and 24% fat, gelato has between 4 – 8%. So ice cream in general has 3 – 4 times the amount of fat compared to gelato. A typical scoop of ice cream can contain around 150 grams with gelato only around 50 grams. Air – the injection of air is called ‘over run’. You would typically know this from making whip cream at home, pouring in the liquid and the blades whipping up into a larger volume. Ice cream typically is 80% air (some brands have 100% air) and 20% liquid, where gelato is around 25% air and 75% liquid. Ice cream tends to be light and airy while gelato is denser and creamier. An example would be a bowl of ice cream twice the size of a bowl of gelato, but they both weigh the same. Ice cream is mostly air and that is why ice cream sold is by volume not by weight. Temperature – ice cream is typically sold colder than gelato. Gelato is served warmer than ice cream so are better able to taste the flavour and not just cold.
  • Why is gelato creamier than ice cream.
    Gelato's smooth and creamy texture comes from the less air than ice cream. Ice cream has between 50 and 80% air and gelato around 20 to 25% thus making gelato denser. Gelato is also churned or made with a slower speed resulting in that less air. Gelato is also served at a warmer temperature to its texture stay's silky and softer.
  • Is gelato healthy?
    As far as desserts go, for sure gelato is one of the healthiest frozen desserts around. Typical gelato has less calories, fat and sugar than regular ice cream. If you want either healthier go for the sorbetto - which has zero (0%) fat because there is no milk.
  • What is sorbetto or shebert?
    The name comes from a Persian drink made of fruit juice, water, sweetner and a cooling component such as snow. Thie was called 'sharbat' after the Arabic word sharbah for 'a drink.' Sherbert (pronounced 'shur-bert") is a common misspelling of sherbet that also is the cause for the mispronounciation. Sorbetto is the Italian word for sorbet, and it is made using water instead of milk. This means that sorbetto contains 0% butterfat, and is considered to be dairy free! ​ Actually Sherbet or Sherbet is a blend between frozen fruit and 1 - 2% milk or cream. It tends to be lighter than gelato and/or ice cream because of the less dairy and a bit more creamier then sorbetto due to the addition of a bit of milk or cream. Just remember that while it is spelt with an 'r', sherbert, it is actually pronounced sher-bet.
  • What is granita?
    Sicilian Granita Pronounced [ɡraˈni ta] Originating in Sicily, Italy it is a water-based, dairy free ice dessert made with water, sugar and a flavour like lemon, coffee, almond or strawberry. The ice crystals are usually larger and more course and crunchier and served as a drink with a spoon. This beautiful dessert evolved from sherbet an ice drinkimported to Sicily during the Arab domination in the region. In Sicily, the snows collected on Mount Etna were stored in a ice-store, which was actually caves in the area to keep it cold. The layers of ice were scratched off and a flavour was added which was the start of what we know today as Granita. A home recipe for you to try: Water 1 litre or 1 quart Fresh Lemon Juice 250 ml or 8 1/5 ounces Sugar 250 grams or 9 ounces or 18 tablespoons STEPS Put the water on a stove and heat. Add the sugar and stir until dissolved. Let cool down, then add the lemon juice. Put in your freezer and stir ever couple hours. Before serving stir into a slush, if you use a hand blender use SLOW speed so as not to make it into a liquid. Serve in a clear glass preferably, add a touch of whip cream on top if you like. Enjoy and invite your friends.
  • How many gelato shops are there in the world?
    In 2016, Italian Gelato Info estimated that there were over 100,000 gelato shape world wide... Europe 60,000 Italy 39,000 Germany. 9,000 Spain 2,000 Argentina. 1,500 China 1,000+ USA 950+ Brazil 500 Japan 500 Canada 90 ​ FYI... Italy - (10,000 are pure gelaterias' the other 29,000 are bars and pastry shops) Germany - (3,000 are pure gelaterias) World wide sales was around $15 Billion Euros ($ 22 Billion Canadian $ or $16.5 Billion US dollars).
  • How many calories are in gelato?
    In a typical cup of glato there is around 90 calories depending on the flavour, about 40% less than ice cream.
  • Why do you need sugar?
    Great question! Now remember that gelato is mostly milk and Sorbetto is mostly water or juice. It is also in a frozen environment like your freezer at home. Try putting a glass of milk or water in your freezer at home and will be hard as ice. Sugar plays a key role in transforming that mostly frozen milk and water into the worlds most popular dessert. That frozen liquid turns from an ice block to a smooth, creamy and soft texture because of sugar. ​ There are two roles that sugar provides in making gelato and ice cream which are key to every gelato maker. - Anti-freezing power - Sweetness ​ Gelato is frozen and with out sugar it is a ice cube, but you add sugar and it softens due to it's anti-freezing power. Too little and it is too hard, too much and it is too soft. Somewhere in between is the perfect amount. There is the question of different sugars with different powers, but more on that in James' Blog posting. The targeted percentage of sugar or brix is between 25 and 27% total from added sugar and the other sugars from milk, fruit or other items in the recipe. ​ For sweetness is also a matter of taste, some countries and cultures like it sweeter and some not so sweet. Once the softness level is achieved then the Gelato Master can choose from the over 70 different types of sugars to set the sweetness level. And together the combination of sugar's, the types, the different anti-freezing powers and the different sweetness levels each in combination with one another make the gelato mouth feel, taste and even structure. That is the personal touch to a Gelato Masters' gelato they give to their gelato.
  • What is your favourite flavour?
    It really depends on the day or the season for me. I love working with fresh local berries, going to the farm, picking them and eating lots right off the bush or plant. But if you had to narrow it down, no doubt it would be lemon. I grew up with lemon sorbetto, lemon sherbet. I absolutely love going to buy fresh lemons, checking the smell, the sourness. Getting them back to the shop, juicing them the air is filled with lemons. I think my favourite lemon flavour is when I made a lemon curd and a lemon gelato. It was a massive challenge to pair the lemons with all their acid and the milk. Took a few tries but still love the lemon ripple through the lemon milk gelato. So lemon anything is a great start.
  • I really want to learn how to make gelato, where should I start?"
    I really encourage people to start at home. Get a machine and start reading books and recipes. Try and try to perfect one recipe learning the foundation of what a gelato is too hard or too soft. Once you have had lots of play time at home, really consider going to take a gelato course at your local gelato shop or better yet a recognized school. Many people want to come work with me, so I encourage them to go to school, learn the basics and figure out what is your style, what is your passion. My methods are pretty extreme and not for everyone. It is always best to learn from others, figure your path out and then when your ready get a hold of me. I get asked a lot by people all over the world to come work under me. I really need to understand the people I chose to apprentice, if they are ready, if they have the hunger to be better than others. Only a few people a year are selected to work along side me and my team, but the best way to start is learn, learn and learn.
  • What gelato school should I go to?
    There are so many good gelato schools in the USA and Europe. I chose Carpigiani's Gelato University because first if you want to learn about real gelato go to Italy. Second because they have anmazing and accomplished teachers who you can ask lots of questions. They are not there to sell you ingredients, they give you a foundation to build from. Yes, they have the Carpigiani machines, you learn on, but when you are starting I think it is best to be with an industry leader, learn from them. I did and look where it took me.
  • Why is your gelato so much better and different from others?
    I really respect other gelato makers and their commitment to being part of the gelato industry. Each person makes gelato their way, in their own style and in the way that they are comfortable with. There is really no right way or wrong way in making gelato, but your gelato should be YOUR way. For me I think we need to respect local farmers and seasons, that is why I make strawberry during the season and not out of season. Our bodies have an internal season, we like refreshing during hot days and we want warming on cold days. It is natural and I believe we should respect that demand of our bodies. I also like to challenge myself in that if my gelato was like everyone else's there would be no reason to travel to get mine. I think there will always be the bottom line for a business, to make money, to pay bills. But a customer should and ultimately care and decide if they like your gelato, they will come back. I never wanted to fit in or be just another gelato shop selling the same flavours, the same style as everyone else. So I take extra care, steps and processes to perfect a flavour. i do not take short cuts, I only use the best and do not care if it takes more time to make a flavour. I would rather use perfectly ripe mango's then ok mango's or a puree from a company. For me it is about an attitude and desire to be the best, like a competition to have a flavour which people remember or they stand back and realize that it is that much better. It is ok for most people to make gelato and just do the same day in and day out. For me I want to see where the future is, advance techniques and ingredients that are in the culinary world. It is about trying to get better and to make a tastier and healthier gelato each and every time.
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