What is the difference between ice cream, gelato, and sorbet? They look different, but are they made differently?
First of all, the names vary a bit from country to country, or the ingredients do. I'll explain the most common names/ingredients.
The main difference is in the ingredients used. Sorbet is basically water + sugar + fruit, while ice cream and gelato is milk/cream + sugar + fruit. So the last two are more 'creamy', while sorbet is more 'icy'.
You can say that ice cream is a type of gelato, but there still is a difference. More sugar in gelato, more butterfat (the percentage of fat in the milk/cream) in ice cream.
You can read quite a lot about ice cream on wikipedia.
4+1 for recognising that these words are not absolute, and vary from culture to culture. We do a fruit vodka sorbet with cream (basically a sorbet made from fruit infused vodka with cream stirred in at the end). If you are brave try it with chilli vodka !!!– TFDMay 14, 2011 at 12:30
1I think you probably had the right idea, but your comparison of gelato and ice cream came out a little off. Gelato has more sugar and less butterfat than ice cream (wikipedia notes some typical percentages). Also, I might describe sorbet as icy rather than watery.– Cascabel ♦May 14, 2011 at 13:26
Thanks for the 'icy', it was the word I was looking for :-)– MienMay 14, 2011 at 13:39
3@TFD: In some places, sorbet with a little cream mixed in is known as "sherbet" (although the words have almost identical etymology).– jscsMay 14, 2011 at 18:02
5You might also note the difference between ice cream made with custard (cooked eggs, sugar, and cream) and ice cream made with only dairy.– jscsMay 14, 2011 at 18:06
1) Custard ice-cream with eggs milk and cream.(Quite a high portion of eggs) 2) Ice-cream (dairy) 10% upwards of milk fat (milk & cream) 3) Gelato less than 10% butter fat but upwards of 16% sugar (needed to balance recipe) 4) Sorbet fruit, water and some milk to give it body 5) Water ice fruit water and sugar
Gelato is kind of Italian icecream, which has more sugar & Fat content .