Italian ice cream kinds

Ice cream is considered Italy’s favorite dessert – an understandable preference given the climate. Ice cream can be found in many establishments, but there are also specialized ice cream shops: gelaterie (plural for gelateria). There is a handful of important terms that you need to know to navigate through the delicious world of Italian ice cream.

Canella – cinnamon

Cono – an ice cream cone.

Coppa – a tub of ice cream.

Fragola – strawberry flavor.

Gelato (pl. gelati) – The most generic term for ice cream in Italy. The word is often understood to mean soft-serve ice cream, but this simply reflects the popularity of this kind of ice cream in Italy. Italian gelato is known for its intense flavor.

Gelato affrogato – gelato with whisky

Gelato con panna – ice-cream with a whipped cream topping

Granita (pl. granite) – “Italian ice”. Coursely ground ice with some fruit juice and other flavorings added.

Limone – lemon flavored ice cream

Nocciola – hazelnut flavored ice cream.

Produzione Propria – a sign indicating that an ice cream establishment make their own products “in house”.

Semifreddo – literally, “half-frozen”. Ice cream softened by adding cream, custuard or whipped eggs.

Sorbetto (pl. – sorbetti): Sorbet. Pureed, fruit with sweet syrup.

Spumoni – an Italian dessert that consists of several layers of ice cream, with some mousse and fruit bits.

Stracciatella – chocloate chip ice cream

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