In general, gelato is denser than ice cream. One reason for this is that gelato contains about five to seven percent fat, while ice cream must have a minimum of 10 percent fat. Gelato is also churned more slowly than ice cream, causing less air to be whipped into it. Also, gelato is usually served at a warmer temperature than ice cream, which is typically served completely frozen.
Gelato usually contains about 15 to 30 percent air, while ice cream can contain as much as 50 percent air, depending on the brand. Gelato has a lower fat content because it has more whole milk and less cream than ice cream. Gelato usually only comes in a few flavors, such as vanilla, chocolate and hazelnut, while ice cream is available in many different flavors. This is because the higher fat content in ice cream often masks simple flavors used in gelato.
Ice cream recipes first appeared around the 18th century in America and England, while gelato was invented in Italy sometime in the 16th century. Francesco Procopio dei Coltelli was one of the first people to sell gelato in Italy, and the name comes from the Italian word for frozen. Ice cream was typically a treat reserved for the rich during the 19th century because they were the only ones who could afford to keep it cold. Once electricity was invented, it became a treat enjoyed by many people.