Gelato is a frozen treat that originated in Italy. It has gained worldwide popularity, including in America, where it has witnessed robust demand in recent years due to its rich and creamy texture, and unique differences from conventional ice cream.
With its increased popularity, a lot of questions arise about its ingredients. One question that many people have is whether or not it contains eggs. The answer is not a simple one, as you will learn below.
Are There Eggs in Gelato?
Gelato may or may not contain eggs depending on the brand, flavor, and where it is made.
For example, a popular American grocery store brand of gelato is Talenti. Around 20 of its gelato flavors do not have eggs. However, many flavors contain eggs as shown below.
Talenti Flavors With Eggs – Caramel Toffee Crunch, Double Cookie Crunch, Vanilla Caramel Swirl, Caramel Gingerbread, Southern Butter Pecan, Sea Salt Caramel, Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough, Double Dark Chocolate, Key Lime Pie, Belgian Chocolate, Caramel Apple Pie, Coffee Chocolate Chip, Blueberry Crumble Gelato Layers, Chocolate Fudge Brownie Gelato Layers, Coffee Cookie Crumble Gelato Layers, Salted Caramel Truffle Gelato Layers, Vanilla Fudge Cookie Gelato Layers, Chocolate Cherry Cheesecake Gelato Layers, Pumpkin Pie Gelato Layers, Dark Chocolate Cherry Gelato Layers, Peanut Butter Vanilla Fudge Gelato Flavors, Salted Chocolate Churro Pairings, Caramel Pretzel Blondie Pairings, Bourbon Fudge Brownie Pairings.
Furthermore, if you’re lucky enough to travel Italy and enjoy its gelato, realize that it is made differently in various regions. For example, the food experts at Saveur explain that in Sicily eggs are often not used as an ingredient, rather the gelato is commonly thickened with cornstarch. However, in Northern Italy, eggs are more often used to make a creamier version of the dessert.
When it comes to American homemade recipes for gelato, the ingredients often call for eggs. Specifically, egg yolks are commonly used like in this All Recipes Gelato recipe or this Serious Eats Gelato recipe. However, eggs are not a required ingredient to make it and there are certainly tasty recipes out there that don’t call for them to be used.
SEE ALSO>>>Does Ice Cream Have Eggs?
Why Use Eggs In Gelato?
The use of eggs in gelato can serve different purposes. They can add richness and flavor to the dessert, as well as act as an emulsifier, which helps to create a smooth texture. However, using eggs can also add extra calories and make the dessert heavier.
Traditionally, authentic gelato does not contain eggs. Instead, it is made with a combination of three simple ingredients: milk, cream, and sugar. Some gelato makers may add stabilizers or thickeners to achieve the desired texture without using eggs.
Eggs aren’t a necessary ingredient to make gelato. If you want to keep it authentic, you should omit them.
Gelato vs. Ice Cream
Gelato and ice cream share similar ingredients such as milk, cream, sugar, and flavorings. However, they differ in the amount of milk fat, the amount of air that is incorporated during the churning process, and the temperature they are served.
Gelato typically contains less butterfat than ice cream. The store-bought ice cream found in the U.S. at grocery stores contains at least 10% butterfat. It is often higher at 15% and even above 20% for some products. Gelato, on the other hand, commonly has less than 10% butterfat. You can even find some gelatos that have only around 4% butterfat.
Additionally, Gelato is churned at a slower speed than ice cream, which results in a denser and creamier texture. This slow churning process is the primary reason why gelato tastes so good without as much butterfat as American ice cream.
Lastly, gelato is typically served at a warmer temperature compared to ice cream. Gelato is generally served between 10-15°F whereas ice cream is served at 7-12°F. The warmer serving temperature of the gelato is said to help bring out its flavors and assist in maintaining an ideal smooth texture that is easy to scoop.