Ice Cream, Gelato, Frozen Yogurt, Sorbet, Sherbet: What’s the Difference?

Ice Cream, Gelato, Frozen Yogurt, Sorbet, Sherbet: What’s the Difference?

We all love snacking on creamy, frozen treats during the summer, but which one is which? Is gelato just the Italian word for “ice cream” or does it have different ingredients, too? Which is healthier: frozen yogurt or sorbet? And how can I make them myself? We will answer all of these questions and more, plus share some great recipes for these sweet summer treats!

Ice Cream: Ice cream is the dessert that we Americans have come to know and love; in fact, there are records of ice cream dating all the way back to 1776, when our country was founded!  Ice cream is generally made from cream, sugar, and flavorings, but some companies use sweeteners, non-dairy milk products, skim milk, and other variations on the classic recipe. 

We have 21 fabulous homemade ice cream recipes right here!

Gelato: Gelato is an Italian dish made from most of the same ingredients as ice cream.  It does, however, contain less butterfat and less sugar than ordinary ice cream.  Its consistency is denser, as air is not added during the process like it is with ice cream.  Finally, it is less frozen than ice cream, so it melts quicker and tends to be softer.

Frozen Yogurt:  When your friend invites you out for a “froyo,” what exactly are you eating?  Frozen yogurt is a dessert made of, well, yogurt!  It is not made solely of yogurt, nor does it always contain yogurt, but it always contains dairy products of some kind (usually milk solids and or/milk fat).  It tends to be lower fat and lower in calories than ordinary ice cream because it contains milk instead of cream.  It also has a slightly different, more tart taste than ice cream.

Try making your very own apricot frozen yogurt with this recipe!

Sorbet: Sorbet is a non-dairy frozen dessert that is made of fruit puree or fruit juice, sugar, and flavorings.  Due to its lack of dairy products, it is lower in fat than frozen yogurt, gelato, or ice cream.  In fact, most sorbet contains no fat at all!  It still contains quite a lot of sugar, however.

Click here for 12 summery sorbet recipes!

Sherbet: Sherbet is a variation of sorbet that contains a very small amount of milk products.  Sherbet has between 1% and 2% milkfat, while ice cream has around 10%.  The flavors, however, are still fruit-based and similar to those of sorbet.

You’ll find some great sherbet recipes in this article!

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