So how does one choose? The differences between the varieties of creamy, frozen fancies may be subtle, but they do make a difference in terms of taste, texture and total nutrition.
ICE CREAM: Ice cream is made from milk and cream with additional flavors and sweeteners. The smooth texture comes from the process where the mixture is stirred slowly as it cools off, preventing ice from forming. While gelato, yogurt and sorbet are often called ice cream, the distinction between each dessert lies in a few ingredients and the amounts used. American federal labeling standards require ice cream to contain a minimum of 10 percent milk fat and 20 percent total milk solids by weight.
YOGURT: Like ice cream, yogurt is made from milk but also contains live active cultures, or probiotics. Studies suggest that live active cultures may improve digestion and help your body absorb more nutrients.
GELATO: Gelato is served at a higher temperature and is more dense than ice cream. Gelato also includes more egg yolk and milk, but less cream. Although it has less fat than ice cream, it’s still rich and creamy.
SORBET: While sorbet doesn’t usually include any dairy ingredients, the combination of sweetened water flavored with iced fruit juice or puree, is a lower fat alternative to the creamier frozen treats. Sorbet flavors include many of the same ice cream-like selections like chocolate, vanilla, wine, liqueur, caramel and many more.
WHERE TO FIND IT ALL
The newest sweet shop in the metro area serves 36 flavors of ice cream, yogurt and sorbet, plus locally made chocolates and a wide variety of bulk candies. Waffle cones are made fresh onsite, and the shop also offers a wide variety of organic teas made by Wabi.
2518 Rocky Ridge Lane
Cold Stone Creamery
The ultimate ice cream experience. Ice cream and sorbet made fresh every day, with more than 30 mix-in options such as candy bars and graham crackers.
1430 Gadsden Hwy.
Eighteen flavors, including birthday cake, tiramisu and peanut butter fudge, in addition to ice cream sandwiches and shakes.
1830 29th Ave. South
Hand dipped, all natural and organic ice cream in 46 flavors made at Wright Dairy Farm in Alexandria, Ala.
Visit the website for information about farm tours and retail outlets where Wright Dairy ice cream is available.
Sorbet in a variety of sweet and fruity flavors, including watermelon and German chocolate cake.
3238 Cahaba Heights Rd.
Edgewood & Mountain Brook Creameries
Locally owned by Jay Connor, Edgewood Creamery and Mountain Brook Creamery offer ice cream, shakes, sundaes and the Only 8 brand of frozen yogurt.
936 Oxmoor Rd
2715 Cahaba Rd
Real ice cream and more, plus some locations offer drive-through service!
3900 Crosshaven Dr, (205) 968-8184
1008 Vestavia Pkwy, (205) 978-2347
5212 Caldwell Mill Rd, (205) 408-8801
Tiny, cryogenically frozen beads of ice cream, sherbet, yogurt and flavored ice.
1483 Gadsden Hwy
3075 John Hawkins Pkwy # C,
5511 Highway 280 # 108
Gelato in a variety of flavors, including peaches ‘n’ honey and cinnamon oatmeal cookie.
3100 Cahaba Village Plaza
Angels Cake and Confections
Gelato served daily.
73 Church St.
The Bakery at Culinard
The Bakery at Culinard offers 22 flavors of gelato, including blood orange, green apple, coconut, green tea and sugar free chocolate.
1500 First Ave. North