5 Things to Know about Homemade Ice Cream
Gelato counter: a real homemade workshop can offer at most 18-22 flavors because of the time needed to wash the fruit, the processing of ingredients, pasteurization, maturation, creaming and cleaning the tools in order to get ready for the next batch. Take a look at the thermometer inside the ice cream counter, if it indicates -18 ° C it is likely to be industrial ice cream or maybe just homemade gelato that’s not well-kept!
Ingredients: the first thing to note is the list of the ingredients used in producing the gelato, an element that every shop should have on display. These ingredients must be of in season with regards to the fruit flavors, and in general powdered milk, hydrogenated fats, dyes, additives and preservatives should not be included.
Consistency: a very important element that tells us so much about the quality of the gelato, because a good gelato should have the right amount of creaminess; the paste should be soft and velvety. If the gelato doesn’t melt easily, it means that it may contain additives, a clear indication of poor quality. Once tasted, the creamy appearance has to be confirmed, and if you feel ice flakes, it probably means that you are dealing with a gelato that has been creamed twice over, and therefore, it was probably made in a laboratory that is not completely attentive to quality.
Color: it must always be consistent with the flavor, and be preferably in lighter tones. Colors that are too bright, almost fluorescent could be a clear sign of the presence of dyes.
Taste and Smell: if it is made only with selected and genuine ingredients, you will be able to feel the smell of your gelato, despite the low temperature, especially if it’s a fruit flavor. Once you’ve tasted it, you'll immediately be able to recognize the taste of the flavor you have chosen. If you feel some acidity when tying it, this may indicate that the gelato was not stored properly. Even extreme sweetness might be a red flag for poor quality because it is possible that large quantities of sugar are added when trying to mask the original taste. Another trick for masking taste, is to resort to the use of syrups and other toppings: beware, therefore, if ice cream parlors make excessive use of these.