Category Archives: Gelato Culture

Oat Milk is The Secret Behind Our Dairy-Free Flavors

The secret behind GIO Gelati dairy-free flavors finally revealed

Color, Flavor, and Aroma. This is GIO Gelati’s philosophy

Today we’re talking about milk alternatives. By this, we mean oat, coconut, almond, rice, hazelnut, and cashew milks.

Oat milk gelato flavors

Oat milk is a drink obtained from oat flour, used by many as a cow milk alternative for both health and ethical reasons.

This alternative milk is particularly interesting because it contains antioxidants that slow down the cell aging process, anti-cancer properties, and fibers that support our digestive system.

You will be very positively surprised by GIO Gelati dairy-free chocolate
You will be very positively surprised by GIO Gelati dairy-free chocolate

Oat milk is recommended for weight loss because it contains less fat than cow’s milk – 100 gr of oat milk contains 47 cal against 63 cal in cow’s whole milk.

It’s also rich in folic acid, a nutrient particularly beneficial for those who are pregnant.

In addition to all these properties, its subtle flavor makes it the perfect milk substitute for GIO’s dairy-free chocolate gelato. 

The intensity of the chocolate in GIO’s dairy-free chocolate gelato is brought out by the combination of oat milk, water, and 75% dark cocoa. Our healthy chocolate gelato alternative is made with natural ingredients and can be ordered in any of our stores or online throughout GIO Club membership program. 

Hazelnut milk gelato flavors

GIO Gelati also makes a dairy-free version of the classic nocciola – hazelnut – flavor, using hazelnut milk. The use of hazelnut milk for our traditional nocciola gelato gives it an intense and unparalleled flavor. Be aware, hazelnut is a seasonal flavor available in the fall and winter seasons, as Italian hazelnuts become available after the harvest.

Almond milk gelato flavors

The proper way to serve a dairy-free coffee gelato, made by GIO Gelati.
How to serve a dairy-free coffee gelato.

Another notable cow milk alternative that we use is almond milk. We use almond milk for our dairy-free coffee-flavored gelato. It’s based on an ancient recipe from Puglia called Caffè Soffiato or Caffè Leccese – an iced coffee beverage traditionally served in this beautiful region in southern Italy.

Our almond milk coffee gelato brings Italian summers to California, without all of the humidity. The caffe-soffiato flavor is one of our special that we make on occasion.

Come to our stores to taste this coffee gelato and be transported to Puglia during its most festive season. 

Almond Trees Blooming Season in California
Almond Trees Blooming Season in California

Come to experience our dairy-free gelato flavors

The combination of classic Italian recipes and California’s favorite milk alternatives allows us to create a particularly healthy and palatable gelato. 

Come to GIO Gelati for all of our delicious dairy-free flavors (we don’t have all the options available all the time):

  • Dairy-free Chocolate, made with oat milk
  • Hazelnut, made with hazelnut milk
  • Coconut, made with coconut milk
  • Caffè soffiato, made with almond milk
  • Pistachio, made with rice milk

We look forward to serving you!

Coconut gelato
Hazelnut gelat

Pistachio gelato

GIO Gelati has been making authentic Italian gelato in San Francisco since 2018 and quickly become the most loved gelato place in the Bay Area.
GIO Gelati is now offering a new gelato delivery service for gelato lovers. The GIO Club program offers regular delivery of delicious Italian gelato at your door every 2 or 4 weeks. It’s not ice cream, it’s gelato!

Nectarine Gelato Flavor at GIO Gelati in San Francisco

Seasonal Gelato Flavors: The Peach

Ah summertime, marked by longer days and warmer nights. Summer aromas fill the air: salt water, sunscreen, hot pavement and chlorine. A fresh array of fruit begins to hit the stores and farmers’ markets. At GIO Gelati this change in season marks a shift in the fresh gelato flavors we offer. We always use the freshest ingredients for our gelato, so we only use seasonal fruits for our sorbets! All of our vegan gelato flavors are made through the simple combination of water, sugar and the most succulent seasonal fruits we can find, allowing our customers to experience the freshness of California produce.

Right now, peaches are in season, so the peach and its many variations are what we are using to make our gelato. This includes the white peach, yellow peach, nectarine and apricot. Through the gelato-making process, we make sure to retain each fruit’s original pulp, creating an end-product that stays true to its rich texture and flavor.

Every fruit that nature gifts us has qualities that remain impressed within our “food/taste memory”, which becomes part of our legacy and accompanies us in the path of our life, forming the story that are our emotions and memories through flavor.

Let’s consider the peach varieties we use as ingredients for our seasonal gelato.

The Yellow Peach

The yellow-flesh peach is a common type of peach, which becomes a dense and deep-colored paste during the gelato-making process. The vivid tones of the yellow peach mimic the warmth and coloring of the sun’s rays, shifting to a sunset red orange as it ripens. The yellow peach emits an unmistakably summertime perfume that grows in potency the riper the fruit gets and that we capture in our gelato.

The Nectarine

The nectarine peach has a unique, arguably more interesting character. It is defined by its smooth skin, along with its coloring, varying from deep red to bordeaux purple, to everything in between. Its lavish scent distinguishes it from its peach sisters. The skin of the nectarine is remarkably more flavorful in smell and taste than its pulp because of the way it absorbs heat from the sun. As such, flavor permeates the nectarine through the skin, giving it a boldly sweet taste as it matures. For this reason we include the skin together with the pulp of the organic nectarines that we use for our gelato.

The White Peach

The white-flesh peach is the most gentle of the bunch, both in terms of scent and flavor. Rosy skin, white pulp, and delicate aroma define the would be “runt” of the peach family. But don’t you dare underestimate her. Exquisite, but mighty, the white peach has a subtle way of making its taster succumb to its charms. This diaphanous fruit transforms into a light and creamy gelato, and pairs as the perfect foil to the summer heat.

The intersection of senses and emotions that we are able to explore through the appreciation of nature’s fruits defines GIO Gelati’s mission in the ability to create, experiment and establish a “food memory” through our product.

Nectarine Gelato Flavor at GIO Gelati in San Francisco
Nectarine Gelato Flavor at GIO Gelati in San Francisco

GIO Gelati has been making authentic Italian gelato in San Francisco since 2018 and quickly become the most loved gelato place in the Bay Area.
GIO Gelati is now offering a new gelato delivery service for gelato lovers. The GIO Club program offers regular delivery of delicious Italian gelato at your door every 2 or 4 weeks. It’s not ice cream, it’s gelato!

Why gelato is good for you. A healthy and natural dessert choice

How healthy is gelato? Is gelato healthier than ice cream? How guilty should I feel about just finishing off that entire pint by myself? The answer might surprise you. Yes, it is true that Gelato is a dessert that contains some fat and sugar besides water, but that doesn’t mean that gelato isn’t healthy. In fact, it’s much healthier than ice cream and a more natural substitute to other desserts like cookies or donuts. We’re here to give you the guilt-free facts you want to know!

Gelato: A Healthy Alternative

Sure, gelato tastes good, but is gelato good for you? We already know that gelato is better for you than ice cream. For instance, according to the SF Gate, vanilla gelato only has 90 calories, with 3 grams of fat and 10 grams of sugar in a 3.5 ounce serving. On the other hand, a classic vanilla ice cream has a whopping 125 calories, 7 grams of fat and 14 grams of sugar. A lot!

Gelato uses water or milk as its base to highlight the flavors of the main ingredients, thus giving it a low butterfat content of about 5%. The simple, natural ingredients give it a creamier and richer flavor than that of ice cream.

Gelato Nutrition Facts

  • Gelato contains a high amount of protein, which is needed daily in the human diet.
  • Gelato contains a high number of vitamins, particularly in fruit flavors.
  • Gelato contains milk, which is a great source of calcium, without all of the fat in cream.

Organic, local, dairy-free gelato ingredients

GIO Gelati also uses all-natural and, wherever available, organic and local  ingredients!

GIO Gelati also offers several lactose-free flavors that use oat milk as the liquid ingredient.

Our dairy-free fruit flavors use only water and thanks to our artisanal production process, they are as “creamy” as can be. Try our passionfruit or nectarine flavors if you don’t believe us!

The Final Scoop 

Gelato is healthy as far as desserts go, lest we forget that it is a dessert. Anything made out of water , fat and sugar is an indulgence. But what is life without a little indulgence? We at GIO Gelati are here to satisfy your most indulgent cravings, knowing that we are giving our community the healthiest, most natural ingredients we have to give, now right to your doorstep. Ciao for now!


GIO Gelati has been making authentic Italian gelato in San Francisco since 2018 and quickly become the most loved gelato place in the Bay Area.
GIO Gelati is now offering a new gelato delivery service for gelato lovers. The GIO Club program offers regular delivery of delicious Italian gelato at your door every 2 or 4 weeks. It’s not ice cream, it’s gelato!

Viola Buitoni’s recipe for Passion Fruit Sgroppino Cocktail

Article by Viola Buitoni, GIO Gelati friend and renowned Bay Area cooking instructor specializing in Italian food. 

Sgroppino is a popular Italian concoction, hailing from Venice and originally used as a palate cleanser but more popular today as a light dessert. The term sgroppino derives from the verb sgroppare, remove the lump –groppo in Italian- sitting in your stomach to make space for the next course. 

The main ingredients are lemon gelato and prosecco, to which a splash of vodka is often added. My version uses the captivating acidity of passion fruit in lieu of lemon and is finished in a California twist with the cannabis infused aromas of Artet.

Ingredients for Passion Fruit and Artet Sgroppino

  • 2/3 pound passion fruit gelato 
  • 200 ml (6.75 fl.oz) prosecco
  • 60 ml (2 fl.oz) vodka
  • 40 ml (1.35 fl. oz) Artet cannabis infused beverage

Making the Sgroppino

Whip the gelato to a creamy, soft consistency. 
Slowly whisk in the prosecco, then the vodka and lastly the Artet. 
Let the bubble settle slightly before drinking.
Enjoy!


Viola Buitoni hails from Perugia and lives with her husband and son in San Francisco where she teaches Italian cooking at 18 Reasons and The Civic Kitchen. Her acclaimed classes regularly sell out. She is the food expert for the Italian Cultural Institute and the Consul General. She is a contributor to La Cucina Italiana and writes about food for Mission Local. Since the start of Covid she has taken her classes online and regularly livestream on Instagram from her home kitchen. Find out more about her culinary adventures at violabuitoni.com 

Gelato vs. Ice Cream. Why Gelato is Better Than Ice Cream

Gelato vs. ice cream. You may have heard that gelato and ice cream are different, but how exactly? And which is better? Let us break it down for you.

What is Gelato? How is it related to Ice Cream?

Although they are both delicious, and nearly identical in appearance, gelato and ice cream are very different when it comes to ingredients, texture, and taste. Gelato is ice cream’s creamier Italian cousin, reflecting traditional Italian cuisine: simple yet flavorful. 

Which Came First: Ice Cream or Gelato?

Gelato came first! Modern gelato has roots in 16th century Florence, and from there it has become a highly regarded dessert all over the world.

What’s the Base for Ice Cream and Gelato?

As its name suggests, ice cream is cream-based, containing a high percentage of butterfat: according to the Institute of Culinary Education, between 11% and 18%. Gelato, on the other hand, uses water or milk as its base to highlight the flavors of the main ingredients: gelato has a lower butterfat content of about 5%. 

Are the Ingredients Different?

Ice cream combines a series of heavy ingredients such as cream, condensed milk, vanilla, and even eggs. This makes it unsuitable for many diets, and often hard on the stomach. Gelato, on the other hand, often includes only a single ingredient on top of its base of water or milk. This makes it much more accommodating to many types of diets. Fruit flavored gelato, for instance, is nearly always vegan, enhancing the natural taste of the fresh fruit. Heavier ingredients, like eggs or gluten, are only ever added to gelato when they are integral to the flavor, such as in Tiramisù and Crema (custard).

How Much Sugar?

Although sugar is used in both gelato and ice cream, ice cream’s preservation temperature is much lower than that of gelato, and requires a much more significant amount of sugar to maintain its texture. At a preservation temperature around 20 degrees warmer than ice cream, gelato requires a much lower amount of sugar to sustain its delightfully fluffy, and yet somehow deliciously creamy, texture. 

Why Is Gelato Creamier Than Ice Cream, If There is No Cream?

The use of air is an integral part of the production for both gelato and ice cream, but the difference in amount is substantial. Ice cream is about 60% air, whereas gelato is only 15%. Its density allows its flavor to pack more punch and creates a thicker, more pleasing texture that still melts in your mouth. 


GIO Gelati has been making authentic Italian gelato in San Francisco since 2018 and quickly become the most loved gelato place in the Bay Area.
GIO Gelati is now offering a new gelato delivery service for gelato lovers. The GIO Club program offers regular delivery of delicious Italian gelato at your door every 2 or 4 weeks. It’s not ice cream, it’s gelato!