To know what people look for when buying high-quality gelato, it’s important to first understand the difference between gelato and ice cream. Gelato is an Italian specialty. It’s a frozen dessert that is similar to ice cream, but it contains less butterfat. The churning process is also more delicate and less frequent, which results in a creamier, denser product with a richer texture.

But what do people look for when buying gelato?


Many gelato experts will check the pistachio pan. If it looks like a bright, fake green, chances are it’s made from a pre-packaged powder. In general, homemade gelato should have the same general color as the foods used to create the flavor, especially the fruit flavors. Experts check colors.


In it’s purist state, gelato tends to flow and settle. Tall mounds of gelato that don’t move can be warning signs of added chemicals. Fluffy gelato is achieved with stabilizers that add additional air to the mix.


Freshness is an important feature of any high-quality gelateria. Take look at the fruit flavors, specifically. Are they seasonal? Are they serving watermelon in the middle of winter? What about autumn flavors in November?


A gelato shop that is comfortable displaying the ingredients in the pan are often the shops serving the highest quality ingredients. Experts look for transparency.


Gelato is a milk-based product, so experts will often sample gelato in its purist form to rate the milk. In Italian, the flavors fior di latte and fior di panna, which roughly translate to pure milk and pure cream, are a standard benchmark for the quality of gelato.


Gelato should be stored and displayed using best practices. Clean cases that highlight the gelato eliminate the need to artificially stage gelato. Experts also look at temperature. Because gelato has less fat and air than ice cream, it should be stored at slightly warmer temperatures so it doesn’t solidify into an un-servable state.

Learn more about the display case options for serving gelato.

Maximize the potential sales in your gelateria by reviewing our Designer Guide. Discover some of the most elegant gelato cases in the industry, and see how they can help grow your gelato business.


OTL Designer Book Foodservice Display Case