Last night I was eating some Ciao Bella Lemon Sorbet and having a yummy sense memory of riding my bike in the summer all over the upstate towns where we lived. I’d ride and ride, with friends, with my brother, alone. And I’d always be sure to carry a little money so I could stop in the park for an Italian ice. I loved lemon best. No other flavor would do. It didn’t have to be an every day thing. Was, in fact, better when it was a treat for particularly hot days.
Years after forgetting about the Italian ices of my childhood, I was in Florence (which I insisted on calling Firenze because I was 20 and even more painfully pretentious than I am now). My friends and I were buying gelato from a cart, and I got a double scoop of lemon. As I tasted that first spoonful, the pieces fell into place: Italian ices … were the mass market knock-off of gelato! Oh yes, clever girl at a chi-chi private college, and it took me so long to make this connection. That wasn’t even my first time in Italy!
I laugh at myself now, but in that moment, all I focused on was the fabulousness of the distant-cousin relationship between ices and gelato.
And Ciao Bella? Their lemon sorbet might just be the best I’ve ever had. It is the essence of summer on your tongue, with little bits of lemon zest and a perfect sweet-tart flavor. I’ve grown up a bit, however and am no longer a lemon-only girl. And the folks at Ciao Bella are making me glad of that. They are mad geniuses. They make a Blackberry Cabernet sorbet that ought, really, to be illegal. If you haven’t tried their ‘ices,’ stop reading this blog, back away from the computer … and go out and find some Ciao Bella. No, really: right now!
And then come back and see what the other slice-of-life folks are up to over at Two Writing Teachers.