I am a food person. I love to cook (I’m actually considering cooking school after the tour ends!), I love going to farmer’s markets wherever I find myself on a Saturday morning (we found some great treats at the La Canada Flintridge market earlier this month before an event – good enough that we went back the next week), and I love thinking of tasty new ways to use old favorites.
So naturally, thinking up pairings for the gelatos and sorbets that I’m becoming so familiar with this summer has become a fun hobby.
When we have couples come to the window together asking for one sorbet and one gelato without a strong preference on the gelato, we usually encourage two things: 1. the vanilla gelato and 2. that they share, because the vanilla combines so deliciously with any of the three sorbets we also sample.
Yesterday, a clever Whole Foods employee came out for his sample on his lunch break, looking for something to complement his planned meal of a banana with fresh ground peanut butter, and once again, the creamy cool vanilla was a perfect fit.
Another of our customers asked for a sample of our blood orange, explaining how she had just had a great blood orange margarita the day before. After her sample, she headed into the store for pints and tequila, planning to repeat the refreshing drink for the friends she had invited to her place.
Although it’s not one of the flavors on our tour this year, one of my favorite Ciao Bella gelatos is the plain hazelnut. Fantastic on its own, it’s stunning when accompanied by fresh raspberries, strawberries, blueberries – pick a berry and it’s great.
So today, in the nearly 100 degree heat at our event this morning at the Sprouts in El Cajon, I came up with a new winning combo. It was hot. Naturally, all I could think about between customers was what icy cold drink I would enjoy on our way to our second event. Once we started packing up, I pulled a mango sorbet from the freezer and put it on the dashboard of the truck to let it melt as we were reloading the truck. Once on the road, we pulled into a fast food restaurant where I ordered a large lemon/lime soda, leaving a little room at the top like you would for milk in coffee. I poured in my now well softened mango, gave a good stir, and then took a sip of what has to be the tastiest drink I’ve had in a good long while. If I do say so myself, it was a pretty ingenious move – refreshing, sweet, fresh and just completely delicious. The beautiful color in the photo was of just one mango cup in an extra large soda and the ratio was fantastic. I can guarantee I will be serving this to friends at meals at my house for years to come.
Give it a shot and see if you enjoy it as much as we did. Or share your recipes for perfect pairings of Ciao Bella and…you tell us – we’d love to try yours out too!