What is Repicci’s Real Italian Ice?

The Healthy, Smart Choice For your Frozen Treat

Green Apple and Lemon Italian Ice in Repicci's cups.

What is Italian Ice?

Italian ice is a frozen dessert made with fruit or juice, sugar, and water. The ingredients in Italian ice are mixed, then whipped during the freezing process similar to the process for making ice cream. 

Italian ice is then hand dipped into small dessert cups and served with small paddle-spoons.

Italian ice is dairy-free, gluten-free, egg-free, and cholesterol-free.  Some flavors also come in a sugar-free option.

As a group, Italian ice comes in a variety of consistencies from crunchy, to smooth, to slushy.  Repicci’s Real Italian ice is a silky-smooth consistency like ice cream.

What is the Origin of Italian Ice?

Many countries have a form of frozen ice dessert similar to Italian ice. The traditional Italian ice is lemon flavored with a heavier texture similar to a granita. 

Modern Italian Ices have developed their creamier texture as equipment has improved to allow for a more consistent mixing process that beats air into the mixture.  The smaller the ice crystals and the better whipped the mixture is, the creamy the texture.

These modern Italian Ices have their roots in Italy with authentic recipies.  However they are more common in Pennsylvania, New Jersey and other east coast states.

Repicci’s Real Italian ice uses its family’s Old-World recipe brought over from Messina, Italy in 1911 by the family patriarch.

Italian Ice Is Not Like Other Frozen Desserts

Frozen desserts as a group differ based on their ingredients, texture, and flavors.  Italian ice, while similar to ice cream and sherbet, is a unique delicacy.

Individuals with a dairy, egg, or gluten allergy will still be able to enjoy the creamy delights of Repicci’s Real Italian ice. And those avoiding sugar can enjoy the sugar-free Italian ice options.

orange and cream Italian ice in Repicci's cup
Infographic showing Italian Ice nutrition facts compared to ice cream: dairy-free, egg-free, gluten-free

Italian Ice vs. Gelato & Ice Cream

The biggest difference between Italian ice and gelato or ice cream is dairy and eggs.  While Italian ice is dairy free, gelato and ice cream both get their creamy texture from the high whole milk and cream content. Custard versions of both ice cream and gelato may also contains eggs.

Flavors for ice cream and gelato vary widely and include fruits, chocolates, and spices.  Italian ices tend to be fruit flavored.

Infographic showing Italian Ice nutrition facts compared to sherbet: dairy-free

Italian Ice vs. Sherbet

Italian ice and Sherbet share a similar fruit flavor palette.  Both sherbet and Italian ice also share a creamy, smooth consistency.  Sherbet, however, derives its creamy texture from milk while Italian ice is dairy free.

Infographic showing Italian Ice taste facts compared to sorbet: smoother texture

Italian Ice vs. Sorbet

Italian ice most closely resembles sorbet. Both treats are egg and dairy free.  Both also share a similar fruit flavor palette.

In fact, the biggest difference between sorbet and Italian ice may be their origin.  Italian ice is the Italian version of creamy dairy-free ice while sorbet is of French origin. 

In addition, sorbets often contain liquor flavors while Italian ices do not generally contain alcohol but may compliment it well.

Italian Ice vs. Water Ice

Italian ice and water ice use the same three ingredients: fruit or fruit juices, sugar, and water. However, water ice is not whipped to create the same creamy, velvety smooth texture that real Italian ice has. 

Water ice will have a crunchier texture than Repicci’s Real Italian ice.

Infographic showing Italian Ice taste facts compared to snow cone: smoother texture and even flavor

Italian Ice vs Snow Cones & Shaved Ice

Italian ice and snow cones share their icy base, but the similarity stops there.  Snow cones are crushed or chopped ice that has been packed together.  They have a coarse, gritty texture. 

For snow cones, the flavoring is poured over the ice after it has been formed on the cone or cup.  This late application of the flavor can lead to uneven or incomplete flavoring of the ice. 

Italian ice flavorings are added before the freezing process giving a uniform taste thorough the scoop.

Italian Ice vs. Slushies

Italian ices are hand-dippable frozen consistency.  Slushies are semi-frozen drinks with small ice pellets and liquid flavoring mixed together.

Infographic showing Italian Ice taste facts compared to granita: smoother texture

Italian Ice vs. Granita

Granitas may have been the inspiration behind the creation of Italian ice.

A granita is an Italian dessert which is semi-frozen and made from sugar, water, and various flavorings. While similar to Italian ice, a granita does not have the same smooth consistency.

Granitas can be thought of as a fancy snow cone with finely ground ice rather than a whipped creamy creation like Italian ice.

Italian ice has more air beaten into the mixture resulting in the smoother texture.

Italian Ice is a Healthier Choice

Did you know that Italian ice is gluten free, fat free, dairy free, soy free, gluten free and cholesterol free? It’s a smart choice for your frozen treat if you have dietary restrictions.

Fewer Calories per Serving

And if you’re counting calories, Italian ice contains only 65 calories in a 4 oz. serving compared to almost 300 calories in premium ice cream.

Fewer Carbs

Wondering about carbs? Italian ice has 16 grams of carbohydrates in a 4 oz serving while ice cream comes in at over 24 grams of carbs.

Less Fat

Premium ice cream can have 21 grams of fat or more per 4 oz serving while Italian ice is fat-free.

Italian Ice is Available in a Variety of Flavors

Repicci’s Real Italian ices come in a variety of fruit and other flavors.  Over the years we have perfected over X flavors.  In fact, there’s a flavor favorite for everyone!  We love that our delicious product has flavors to appeal to all ages.

Some of our most popular flavors include

  • Strawberry
  • Watermelon
  • Lime
  • Orange
  • Lemon
  • Cherry
  • Mango
  • Green Apple
  • Pina Colada
  • Blue Raspberry
Repicci's Italian Ice and gelato scooped into cups with the fresh fruits used to make it.

With so many assorted flavors to choose from it’s hard to pick a favorite. That’s why our 2- and 3-scoop cups always offer you the option of mixing flavors.  You can enjoy your old favorite and try a scoop of what might be your new favorite at the same time.

Can I make Italian ice at home?

Real Italian ice requires special equipment to achieve the creamy texture from the whipping process.  However, if you’ve got a hankering for that Italian ice taste and want to try an at-home version, there are recipes available online.  However, your end product will be more like a granita.

Making the ice is not complicated. You’ll just mix a few simple ingredients, freeze them until solid, and then blend the mixture until you get the desired consistency. It’s simple, but time-consuming. It takes about 2 hours to freeze the mixture. Then you’ll need to repeat the process of beating the mixture as many times as it takes to achieve the consistency you prefer.

The smaller the ice crystals, the smoother the mixture.

We recommend always using the freshest ingredients. And for a light, refreshing taste, you’ll want to balance the amount of sugar with the tartness of the fruit mixture.

You can try making this Lemon Italian Ice at home, but don’t expect it to have the silky-smooth texture of professional Italian ice.

Repicci’s Italian Ice Comes to You

If you want real Italian ice, with its velvety smoothness, Repicci’s offers on-site, frozen dessert catering for your private parties and company events. Our authentic Italian Ice and one-of-a-kind gourmet Italian treats have flavors for all ages. Our convenient mobile food trucks make it easy to serve your catering needs.

Let us come to you!

Contact your local Repicci’s Real Italian Ice and Gelato to request catering for your event. You’ll also find us at fairs, festivals, sporting events, and even weddings. Discover a location near you!

Or call us at 1-855-REPICCI.

Repicci's Italian Ice and Gelato Mobile Dessert Catering Van