by Chrysa Smith
The weather is heating up and that means it’s time for a cold, refreshing treat.
Now, I can appreciate a high fat, rich and creamy ice cream cone on a hot day, but am not one who has a hard time putting down that quart of Ben & Jerry’s Chubby Hubby. (I have a harder time putting down that bag of m&m’s.)
But this summer, I am going for a scoop of gelato–the Italian ‘ice cream’ that has the quality of a little bit ice cream; a little bit water ice. Why? Well, I’ll tell you.
First of all, it can have less than half of the fat of regular ice cream, but because of the way it’s produced, it can also have more intense flavor. So, you’re not losing out on anything—well, maybe a few calories, which is always a good thing. It is not kept as cold as ice cream, so it melts in your mouth easier–maybe easing up a bit on that teeth and brain freeze that I hate about eating ice cream. It does not have air infused into it to double the quantity, like ice cream does, so the dense flavor comes through more readily.
Don’t worry, there is milk and cream involved in the process, as well as the chocolate, nuts, fruit, syrups that traditional ice cream contains. But it clearly has some added benefits—and it is becoming more popular outside of Italian restaurants.
You can find it in the freezer section of Italian specialty shops and a growing, favorite brand named Ciao Bella (featured on Oprah, so you know it’s got to be good) can be found at major chains like Safeway, Albertson’s, Target, Costco and others. http://www.ciaobellagelato.com/. Of course, there’s always the option to make it for yourself. It might not have quite the Italian gelateria touch, but you can do it amateur style, nonetheless (without any special equipment) with a few ingredients and a food processor. Lots of varieties at: http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipe-collections/gelato/index.html.