We all scream for ice cream!

By Jill Clair Gentry / Food editor people@gulfcoastnewspapers.com
Posted 7/2/13

For the past five years in Foley, Joe La Sala has been serving ice cream, gelato, sorbet, Italian ice and other frozen treats alongside homemade desserts and Italian dishes at Gelato Joe's in Foley.

La Sala grew up near Philadelphia, and his …

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We all scream for ice cream!

Posted

For the past five years in Foley, Joe La Sala has been serving ice cream, gelato, sorbet, Italian ice and other frozen treats alongside homemade desserts and Italian dishes at Gelato Joe's in Foley.

La Sala grew up near Philadelphia, and his father is Italian. The family ran restaurants all of Joe's life, and when they moved to Alabama “for the sun and the fun,” they brought their family recipes along — Joe's dad still makes Philly cheese steaks at the restaurant every Wednesday.

“We pretty much do what we know,” Joe says. “We use a lot of family recipes that we grew up eating. We started out small, just selling gelato, and then we added sandwiches, spaghetti, lasagna and other Italian dishes.”


July is national ice cream month, and Joe explains the differences between ice cream and gelato, sorbet and sherbert and Italian ice and shaved ice.

Ice cream facts

  • In some countries, the word for “ice cream” describes all varieties of the frozen dessert, but in the United States, the government regulates the commercial use of the terms according to the quantities of the main ingredients.

  • The most popular flavors of ice cream are vanilla and chocolate.

  • A frozen mixture of milk and rice was first used in China around 200 BC.

  • Recipes for homemade ice cream have been showing up in cookbooks since the 18th century.

  • Ice cream was introduced to the United States by Quaker colonists.

Gelato vs. American ice cream

  • Air content: Ice cream contains at least twice as much air as gelato, meaning gelato weighs twice as much as ice cream.

  • Fat content: Ice cream has no less than 11 percent milk fat and can be as high as 30 percent. Gelato's milk fat content is between five and seven percent.

  • Gelato is the Italian word for ice cream.

Sorbet vs. sherbet

  • Sorbet is a fruit puree made with no dairy products.

  • Sherbet contains 1-2 percent milk fat and is sweeter than ice cream.

Italian ice vs. shaved ice

  • Italian ice has more in common with sorbet than shaved ice — it is made with fruit and is made like ice cream, by freezing the ingredients while mixing them.

  • Shaved ice (snow cone) is made of crushed or shaved ice and sweetened by syrup after the ice has been shaved.

Frozen custard

  • Contains at least 10 percent milk fat and at leas 1.4 percent egg yolk.

  • Similarly to gelato, frozen custard has much less air whipped into it than American ice cream.