Made with only sweetened fruit puree or juice and then churned until smooth, sorbet has a flavor that really pops. The lack of eggs or dairy also gives sorbet a refreshingly icy texture and lowers the fat content.
Think of this often pastel-hued scoop as the dairy descendant of sorbet, thanks to a generous splash of milk, cream, or half-and-half. (Oh, and it’s pronounced SHER-biht, not SHER-burt.)
More refreshing than creamy, ice milk is made without eggs and with milk instead of cream. (You might’ve guessed that one.) With less than 7 percent milk fat, it’s not as rich as ice cream, which has at least 10 percent.
Semifreddo (“half-cold” in Italian) has the texture of frozen mousse and is usually loaf-shaped and served sliced. Semifreddo is hard to find in stores, so snag a taste when you spot it on the dessert menu.
A cone of this is a melty race against the clock because it’s served about 11 degrees warmer than ice cream. All the machine-churned air keeps it light in both senses—it’s fluffy and has less fat, too.
Although gelato means “ice cream” in Italian, this is slowly churned for richness, has more milk and less cream than ice cream, and is served about 10 to 15 degrees warmer for a silkier scoop.