What Is Italian Ice? The Origins of Gulu

What is Italian Ice?


Italian ice is a frozen dessert that lives within the same culinary realm as ice cream. In other words, it’s a cold, sweet treat with fruit and other sweet flavorings. 


The big question, then, is how is it different from ice cream or sorbet? The answer is simple. Italian ice doesn’t use any dairy or egg products. The basis of the product is ice, and in fact, in some parts of the US Italian Ice is called water ice


Your next thought might be that this sounds like a Slurpee, but it really isn’t. Italian ice is denser, so it can be scooped and eaten with a spoon or in a cone, just like ice cream. 


Italian ice is more like sorbet in texture and tends to have similar flavor concoctions. In general, sorbet is considered to have a creamier texture than Italian Ice, but at Gulu we’re ready to take on that comparison. We think you’ll find our creations to be as smooth, sweet, and refreshing as any sorbet. 


Gulu Italian Ice is super popular at all types of events. We bring our trailer or pushcart to church events, corporate events, holiday parties, sporting events – you name it. Gelu is the perfect treat on a sunny Texas afternoon or warm evening at the game.


The Origins of Italian Ice


Italian Ice, interestingly, isn’t Italian. It’s an American invention that came out of New Jersey about 100 years ago. 


However, Italian Ice is based on an Italian creation called granita, which is a semi-frozen dessert, originally created in Sicily, that’s made from sugar, water, and various flavorings. 


The story goes that a Sicilian woman living in New Jersey longed for her childhood treat, granita. So, she created something similar, which took on the name Italian Ice.


Generally, American Italian Ice is smoother and has a thicker consistency than granita, so it gets more comparisons to ice cream and sorbet.  


The Healthy Alternative 


Probably the most important difference between Italian Ice products like Gelu and ice cream is that it’s dairy-free, gluten-free, cholesterol-free, and fat-free. 


The lack of gluten, fat, and cholesterol makes Gelu a healthier choice for dessert than ice cream products. It also means that people who have restrictive diets can usually enjoy Gelu. The natural, simple ingredients make it easy on your digestion. 


Let’s Get This Party Started 


There is another advantage to Gelu that might not come to mind at first, but it makes perfect sense. However, we can only recommend this to people over the age of 21. 


Super smooth ice mixed with fruit and exotic sweet flavors. What to add? How about Rum, Tequila, and maybe even some Bourbon? We call this Gelu 21, and it’s a kicked up way to take a summer party to another level. Many Gelu flavors mix really well with spirits, taking drinks like the Pina Colada or Margarita to another level. 


Are you planning a party or event in the Houston, Waco, Mabank/Dallas area? Contact us today and we’ll be there, ready to scoop Gelu, an Italian Ice treat everyone can enjoy.