About one in 10 cows has every reason to be happy: their milk will be used to produce ice cream, gelato, and other sweet treats. Almost 10% of overall American milk production goes toward ice cream and frozen dairy products.
Not only are there over 1.5 billion gallons of ice cream made yearly across the United States, but most Americans will eat ice cream or gelato cups almost 30 times this year.
Take any two weeks of the year: four out of 10 Americans are eating ice cream. This includes winter months, when summer is just a distant memory, and is not confined to children. Adults adore ice cream and gelato cups as much as kids: fully nine out of 10 people in America eat ice cream or similar frozen dessert on a regular basis.
So how does ice cream differ from gelato? The answer lies in the amount of air that is churned into each frozen product while it is being made. Ice cream can have upwards of 50% air after it’s created, gelato has a lower air content, usually about 25%. Gelato usually has a smoother, denser consistency than ice cream and is heavier on the tongue.
Both ice cream cups and gelato cups come in a variety of flavors, though experts report that after over 100 years of American ice cream sales, consumers still favor vanilla over all other flavors. An ice cream cup or gelato flavor may feature fresh, local ingredients: some flavors just aren’t available out of season, or in certain areas of the country.
Ice cream and gelato are also popular when they are sold as milkshakes in drink cups. Although the most ice cream is produced in the summer months, many people love custom ice cream cups or gelato treats in cold weather. Some people even make their own ice cream out of snow. All over the country, people’s varied and creative tastes continue to expand the boundaries of our favorite edible dessert.