Does Gelato Beat Your Normal Ice Cream?

Does Gelato Beat Your Normal Ice Cream?

“Team Gelato, or Team Ice Cream?”

As the top Huntington Beach destination for custom made ice cream, that’s a question we find our customers asking themselves a LOT.

Here’s how we see it.

Does gelato beat your normal ice cream?

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If you’re starting to get serious about which frozen dessert (gelato, or ice cream) to choose for your next custom made frozen treat experience, this is the comprehensive guide you’ve been looking for:

  • What exactly is ‘gelato’?
  • What exactly is ‘ice cream’?
  • How do they match up against each other?
  • Gelato vs ice cream – the bottom line

What exactly is ‘gelato’?

Depending on who you ask, the word ‘gelato’ is either derived from an Italian word meaning ‘frozen’, OR

‘Gelato’ is simply Italian for ‘ice cream’.

In any case, ‘gelato’ is an Italian frozen treat…an Italian ice cream, in other words.

Typical gelato ingredients

A gelato base (to which other toppings and flavors can be added) typically includes:

  • Milk
  • Cream
  • Sugar
  • Stabilizer(s), also known as thickening agents
  • Air

The stabilizer(s) can be anything from egg yolks to guar gum. 

Surprised at air being an ingredient in gelato? Wondering what a stabilizer is and why it’s a gelato ingredient?

Hold that thought…we’ll come back to those once we’ve gone through the basics of ice creams.

And what exactly is ‘ice cream’?

‘Ice cream’ can be a catch-all term for frozen desserts…like we just read about gelato being Italian ice cream.

However, if we want to get a little specific (and explore various frozen desserts like ice cream, gelato, sorbet and so on), ice cream is a frozen dessert made from dairy products.

Typical ice cream ingredients

An ice cream base (to which, like gelato, you can add flavors and toppings) will typically be made of:

  • Milk
  • Cream
  • Sugar
  • Egg yolk(s)
  • Stabilizers
  • Air

I think you’ve already spotted one key difference between gelato and ice cream – egg yolks are not a key ingredient in gelato.

That being said, let’s take a look at how ‘air’ can be an ingredient in gelato and ice cream, and what stabilizers are and why they’re added to both of our favorite frozen treats.

Air as an ingredient in gelato and ice cream

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While they’re being prepared, ice cream and gelato batter is churned or beaten in a mixer.

As that happens, air is swept into the batter.

The next question is: How does the presence of air affect the frozen dessert – be it gelato or ice cream?

Here’s how: Air can soften the dessert, making it light and fluffy. In other words,

  • The less air there is, the fluffier the dessert.
  • The more air there is, the creamier (denser) the dessert.

That’s just basic physics.

Right, now let’s move on to the main question:

How does gelato match up against ice cream

Here are the main ways they differ:

  • As the name might have suggested, ice cream typically has more cream in it, while gelato has more whole milk.
  • Like you may have noticed earlier, ice creams almost always contain egg yolk while gelato may not. In fact, most types of gelato hardly have any egg yolk at all.
  • Gelato tends to have less air content (as it’s churned slower)…
    • …making gelato creamier while ice cream will have a lighter and fluffier texture.
  • Gelato is served at a higher temperature than ice cream, which gives gelato a silkier (and creamier) feel.
  • Gelato has less butterfat (typically 5 to 7 percent) than ice cream (typically 14 to 25 percent, at minimum 10 percent).

Here’s the bottom line

If all you’re looking for is a frozen dessert with a buttery feeling, you’re on Team Ice Cream.

However, for a more selective, creamy cold dessert treat that can pack a flavorful punch and is lower in fat content, you should opt for Team Gelato.

And if you’re in Huntington Beach, and you’re looking for a craft gelato experience in a steampunk environment, you know where to go!

Having A Day At Huntington Beach

Having A Day At Huntington Beach

Here are the top 5 things that you MUST check out!

Not for nothing has Huntington Beach been nicknamed Surf City USA.

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The amazing beaches, stunning skyline, booming entertainment scene, deliciously diverse dining options…and the warm and inviting people make Huntington Beach more than just another US beach town.

In fact it’s one of the fastest growing cities on the West Coast.

When having a day at Huntington Beach, you’ll simply be blown away by the number and variety of attractions it has to offer.

So, as a proud Huntington Beach business, let us give you the list of…

Top 5 Huntington Beach places you must check out

  • Visit the Huntington Beach pier
  • Experience the sand and surf at Huntington City Beach
  • Huntington State Beach (bird lovers, don’t miss this!)
  • Visit Huntington Harbour
  • Visit Huntington Central Park
  • BONUS: Check out (your first?) steampunk flash frozen ice cream store!

Visit the Huntington Beach Pier

Huntington Beach Pier

Approach the city beach (I’ll explain city beach below) from Main Street, crossing the Pacific Coast Highway and you’ll end up at Huntington Beach Pier.

Over a hundred years old (first built in 1902), this pier has remained the beating heart of our city even as it expanded over the years.

From cityfolk on a day out to enthusiasts of various stripes (apart from being over a hundred years old, this is one of the longest piers on the West Coasts)…

From surfers meeting with their buddies, to fishermen looking for their largest catch yet, students, colleagues and on and on…

You can always expect the pier to be abuzz with people.

Experience the sand and surf at Huntington City Beach

Huntington City Beach

Here’s the deal – ‘Huntington Beach’ is a rather large area and home to as many as five beaches.

The most famous of them however…and the one where the Pier is at…is Huntington City Beach (remember how I said ‘approach the city beach’ above?).

It’s a lovely sunny and warm beach, great for walks, sunbathing, swimming and surfing (yes, both swimming and surfing are allowed).

The beach has all the facilities you need to have a great time, including an information kiosk, restrooms with showers, fire rings for bonfires, volleyball courts and watersports equipment rentals..

A note to the wise…while parking is available at and near the beach, actually getting a vacant spot can be difficult owing to its popularity. So, if you do visit the beach, use public transport.

Pro tip: If you do need parking space, check at the Main Promenade parking first. It’s only a couple of blocks away, and the rates aren’t terribly high.

Website: Go to website

Huntington State Beach (bird lovers, don’t miss this!)

Huntington State Beach

2 miles southeast of the Pier lies Huntington State Beach, yet another of our city’s famous beaches.

It’s well-known for being a nesting sanctuary for the California least terns and snowy plovers, two endangered bird species, which makes it great for bird watching.

A great spot for fishing, surfing, swimming, sunbathing, bbq’s (yep, they have a number of fire pits) and just for hanging out.

Children love digging up the sand and making sand castles.

Parking is generally more available than at the City Beach, but it can prove a bit costly.

Tip: Dogs are not allowed on this beach.

Visit Huntington Harbour

Nestled away in the northwest corner of Huntington Beach, beside the Seal and Sunset Beaches, Huntington Harbour is a picturesque community and a great one to visit.

Based on five manmade islands that were made in the 1960’s, it’s home to hundreds of bayfront homes and awesome dining (including breweries) and shopping options.

But it’s not all about the dining and the shopping.

The Harbour is also a great place to enjoy the outdoors. Hire an electric boat, a paddle boat or a kayak and go exploring!

Visit Huntington Central Park

Huntington Central Park

Spread out over 350 acres, Huntington Central Park is the largest city-owned park in Orange County.

With large open grass fields, tree spaces and flower plantings, the park is an absolute delight to visit. And there are a whole range of outdoor activities for visitors of all types and ages.

  • There are well-marked trails for those who want to walk or jog.
  • Wanna have a barbeque Fire pits are available.
  • Biking? Fishing? Horse riding? All are possible.
  • Children can play frisbee in one of the lawns, and check out the playgrounds.
  • The Public Library is located within the park, making it a great destination for book lovers as well!

Website: Go to website

BONUS: Check out (your first?) steampunk flash frozen ice cream store!

That’s us!

We’re Huntington Beach’s newest and most exciting steampunk flash frozen ice cream store.

Combining the quintessential ice cream store with the interest in steampunk immersive experiences led us to this concept.

Our entire store is decked up with innovative decor to simulate a steampunk environment. Not only that…you also get to interact with our costumed staff and play around with props like switches and knobs.

Oh, and as for the ice cream…we opted out of the boring “here’s our menu of ice creams” model and decided to put YOU at the center!

We’ll list out all the bases, flavors and toppings that we have, and then you get to craft your own gelato treat. And then we’ll flash-freeze it to perfection right before you.

Drop into our shop and see the magic in action!

Events and activities at Huntington Beach

Those are the top 5 things to check out at Huntington Beach, plus a bonus (our steampunk ice cream store)!

Now, we’d like to hear from you!

What are YOUR top 5 Huntington Beach attractions, that you wouldn’t want anyone to miss?