Gelato or Ice Cream? Ice Cream vs. Gelato: We Ask Intern Casey

Is gelato merely just the Italian word for “ice cream?” Is it intrinsically different? What’s the deal with ice cream’s fancy shmancy hipster-celebrated cousin? Are culturally challenged “everyday Americans” physiologically capable of enjoying gelato?

Before we can get into answering such substantive questions, let’s identify the critical differences:

  • Higher fat content in ice cream (ice cream at least 10 percent, gelato 5 to 7 percent).
  • Gelato is churned more slowly, so it is a bit more dense, with less air whipped in to the mixture (25 to 30 percent for gelato, compared to ice cream’s 50 percent).
  • Ice cream served frozen, gelato typically stored and served at slightly higher temperature (not quite frozen).

With points of differentiation clearly outlined, we set out to determine which is actually better (as Americans, it had better be ice cream, shouldn’t it?) But we work for a technology company. We work in coding. We depend on binary code. We must be impartial. So, what to do?

What to do? We do what we always do with our backs against the wall. We go to the source of sources, the oracle of opinion, the undisputed heavyweight champion of millennial perspectivizing … we go to fearless Newtek Technology Services Marketing Department Intern Casey Kaczmarowski.

“Casey, if I were capable of delivering some dessert to your desk, either Gelato or Ice Cream, what would you prefer,” I asked.

“You mean, right now?”

“C’mon, quit making this complicated. Just what I said. Dessert now. Which one?”

Intern Casey, with nary an eyelash batted, offered, “Gelato.”

The ice cream train has just hopped the rails. Serious crash. Big damage. Innumerable casualties.

“Just like that? Gelato? Have you ever even had Gelato?”

“No. Well, maybe. I really don’t remember. So, that would be one reason to have it though, wouldn’t it? Regardless, I have heard some things, so I guess I kind of know why I would prefer it.”

“Oh, you do Mr. Kaczmarowski? Please enlighten us.”

Casey accommodates, “Fine. I know that Gelato is a little denser and a bit more intense for that very reason. And, I think I am in the mood for intense.”

“Are you aware that because of this said density that it must be served at slightly higher, less-frozen temperature than its American counterpart? Does that bother you?”

“No,” said Casey, unflappably.

“No? Just, ‘no?’ What are we going to do with that? You just cast aside the importance of serving temperature as though it’s akin to taking a knee at the end of an NFL blowout? Temperature matters, Casey. It matters.”

“Not as much as flavor, to me. I am a flavor guy. I eat Chinese food hot, I eat it cold out of the fridge for breakfast. Same for pizza. I eat that stuff for the flavor, for the chew, for the satisfaction. Temperature is overrated. Same is true for our slightly warmer gelato friend.”

Casey is hard to argue with. The young man wants his Gelato. Then it occurs to me, there may be a hook to restore normalcy to the world – a world where American marketing interns prefer ice cream … a place where Farrah Fawcett is still superior to Sophia Lauren simply because she’s Farrah. She was one of us.

“Okay, Casey …” I begin slowly, hoping to lure him into the serpent’s lair, ready to strike at the unsuspecting, small, vulnerable mammal. “What FLAVOR of Gelato would you have?”

“Will told me he had New York cheesecake flavored gelato and I have wanted it ever since. That’s what I would get. New York Cheesecake gelato,” he said emphatically.

It worked. Mighty Casey had swung and missed. His reign of poignant opinion had come to an abrupt close. Yes, the serpent flashed it’s age old fangs – it was indeed “the subtlest creature the Lord God had made.” (Genesis, page 2) The venom had already entered the bloodstream.

“Interesting,” I acknowledged, “NY Cheesecake gelato. Isn’t gelato Italian? Yet, you are most interested in an Americanized gelato experience. More specifically, isn’t it a uniquely American flavor profile that you most desire? An intensity, isn’t that your word, that is to be begotten of American-borne flavor. Wouldn’t it be safe to say this intensity has really less to do with the gelato and more to do with, I don’t know, say, NEW YORK?????”


Clearly victorious, I was ready to play with my prey. The intern wasn’t getting off so easy. Not without contending with the serious moral ineptness associated with snap decisions not unlike selecting gelato over ice cream. Not on this day. This day would see a restoration of normalcy. We were going to fly the flag of freedom, proudly, with hot fudge, nuts, and a cherry on top.

I begin, “Lemme ask you this …”

Instead of a cowering and defeated millennial punk, I saw eyes a’blaze with wonder. Before I could continue, he popped up from his cubicle, keys in hand.

“Where are you going?” I was desperate.


“Culvers? The cheese curds place?”


“Didn’t you eat lunch already, Case?”

“Yep. All this talk has me thinking about dessert.”

“So ice cream, then?” I asked, trying to claim just a small victory.


And then he was gone. Amageddon is upon us.


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