Dear Lynne,

Is the only difference between gelato and ice cream in the language you speak and the higher price for an Italian word?

-Jill from Addison

Dear Jill,

Mario Batali: Use over-ripe fruit in gelato for more intense flavor Related: Mario Batali: Use over-ripe fruit in gelato for more intense flavor

Granted, say it in Italian or French and you can get a higher price. But what separates a good gelato from good American ice cream is a soft, silky consistency, intense flavor and the fact that though gelato tastes lush, it's surprisingly lean.

To experience gelato the way Italians eat it, have it from a tub where it's not frozen solid. Because gelato is essentially not very rich, in Italy it's always served soft, so it tastes creamy. Gelato is gathered on a paddle-like utensil and overlapped in cones or cups like petals on a rose.

Even though we usually get our gelato rock hard from the freezer case, we can come close to those rose petals. Give the container 10 to 15 seconds in the microwave to soften the gelato, then use a large spoon to shave off furls of the gelato and arrange it in a bowl.


Lynne Rossetto Kasper
Lynne Rossetto Kasper has won numerous awards as host of The Splendid Table, including two James Beard Foundation Awards (1998, 2008) for Best National Radio Show on Food, five Clarion Awards (2007, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2014) from Women in Communication, and a Gracie Allen Award in 2000 for Best Syndicated Talk Show.