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What does ‘Eis’ mean? Eis (pronounced ‘Ice’) is a German word meaning ‘Gelato’, which is the amazingly rich and light European-style ice cream that is made locally by Nella Monaco-Wells.

Nella is a first-generation Italian – born in Italy – whose family has always had gelato-makers. Besides the family knowledge, Nella also took some gelato courses in Italy as well as apprenticing for a bit in Munich, Germany. For a few years, she ran a successful gelato shop in northern Italy before deciding to come back to Canada.

So what is ‘gelato’?

Gelato is an Italian frozen dessert, similar to ice cream. Its ingredients include milk, sugar, often combined with natural flavourings and fruit, chocolate, liquor, spices or nuts. Its semi-frozen consistency means that gelato melts faster than ice cream. It is stored in a forced-air freezer, different than freezers that store American-style ice cream. Gelato is lower in fat and calories than traditional ice cream, and it contains little air, which results in a denser, more flavourful dessert. A form made with water and no milk is called sorbetto.

Gelato is best served fresh, and popular flavours include chocolate, hazelnut, pistachio, strawberry, lemon, and combinations of vanilla, chocolate and nuts.

Gelato has a much higher density than ice cream. Ice cream is produced by mixing cream, milk and sugar, then adding air. Manufacturers add air to ice cream because it nearly doubles the quantity of their product. But, it cuts the quality in half. No air is added to gelato, and the result is a higher quality dessert with a richer, creamier taste.

While ice cream legally has a minimum of 10 percent fat, gelato is made with a greater proportion of whole milk to cream, so it contains five to eight percent fat. Not only that, gelato has fewer calories than ice cream.

But don't expect to be able to get Italian gelateria-style results by making a gelato recipe in your home ice cream machine: gelato is churned at a slower speed than ice cream, so it's denser because not as much air is whipped into the mixture. Gelato contains about 25 to 35 percent air, while ice cream can contain as much as 50 percent air. Finally, while ice cream is typically served frozen, gelato is typically stored and served at a slightly warmer temperature, so it’s not quite completely frozen.

One thing ice cream and gelato do have in common: you won't be able to resist just one scoop! So, now that you know a little about the Country Best Eis gelato, where can you find it? There are two places that you can find it in the summer:

  1. At the Country Best Eis & Bookstore, 144 Garafraxa St. S., Durham, Ontario

  2. At the Meaford Farmers' Market, Meaford, Ontario!

Gelato is a guilt-free healthy treat and you have a choice of diary or non-dairy flavours!

For more information, contact Nella at monaco246@aim.com .