What is the difference?: Gelato, Ice Cream, and Sorbet?

What is the difference?: Gelato, Ice Cream, and Sorbet?

What’s the difference between gelato, ice cream, and sorbet? No one really knows the answer between the few. In this article we will be covering these sweet treats and the similarities and differences between them.

As you most likely know, ice cream is the classic tasty treat, and has the wonderful flavors we all know and love. It isn’t a fact, what both gelato and sorbet are based off of. Ice cream has been around for since 3000 BC (5000 years!) Even longer than refrigerators! Older versions of ice cream didn’t melt since they weren’t made with ice, and were more dense, keeping it’s form in place! When ice cream was first made, they were made using a special type of salt that is  unavailable to us now. But since there were no real flavors back then, I’m glad we have new flavors and lots of variety in ice cream now, otherwise you’d probably get bored of the same old flavor. Ice cream got its name from earlier name such as ice, cream ice, (silly, yes) and now Ice cream.

Gelato is a Italian style ice cream. But… What really makes it different from traditional ice cream? Well, gelato tends to be creamier and not as icy as ice cream or sorbet. Gelato also uses fewer eggs, and sometimes less sugar than traditional ice cream. The word “gelato” means ice cream in Italian. It contains more milk than regular ice cream. A popular gelato place nearby is Gelato and Angels, It’s in Manhattan Beach, California on Manhattan Beach Blvd. Not only do they have gelato, they also serve sorbets!  Maybe you don’t know this, but their gelato store was featured on Food Network for their “Spaghetti Gelato”, No it’s not gelato that tastes like spaghetti, that would be disgusting. It’s gelato that they make look like spaghetti! They put some vanilla gelato in a spaghetti press to make it look like spaghetti, and they top it off with a strawberry puré and then crumbled white chocolate pieces to look like parmesan cheese. I would really recommend trying it!

Sorbet is almost like ice cream, yet it always includes some sort of fruit puré, and is always vegan (if it includes milk, it’s really actually sherbert). Since sorbet doesn’t include milk, it makes the texture very icy, since milk in ice cream or gelato is what makes it so smooth. The tasty treat comes from mainly fruits, so its healthier than traditional ice cream (if you don’t count the sugar). Sorbet has a reputation of being delicious, so maybe try some when you can!

If you’re confused about this still, we made a chart to help you understand!

Eggs Milk Fruit Puré
Sorbet No No Yes
Ice Cream Yes Sometimes (they normally use cream) Sometimes
Gelato Rarely Yes Rarely


In conclusion, gelato, ice cream, and sorbet are all delicious tasty treats. And if you haven’t tried any of them, you really should! Ice cream, gelato, and sorbet are truly some of the best desserts you could find! Everyone has been puzzled on how the delicious treats are different, but now you know!


Sorbet ingredients

Gelato ingredients

Ice cream ingredients