642 Tiny Things to Write About: Just Desserts

Explain why ice cream is better than gelato?

She wandered down the streets of Old Town, feeling happy and nostalgic from her recent high school reunion.    It had been a few years since she was back home, and Old Town had gone upscale a bit, with new boutiques, cafes and other trendy hot spots.    But as she turned to the corner to go back to her hotel, there was the old ice cream and candy store.   With the exception of a new paint job and some minor renovations in the seating area, it looked the same as it did when her parents took her there for a treat when she was a young child.

Impulsively, she walked through the door and sat down at the counter, and ordered her favorite: chocolate chip fudge, a decadent mix of choco6late ice cream with bits of chocolate chips and brownies swirled in with the creamy treat.    Since leaving home, she had traveled far and wide and had frozen deserts in many countries.  And while she liked gelato and frozen custard, nothing came close to the wonderful, airy creaminess of the ice cream of her childhood.  It was comfort food of the best kind.

She finished the bowl and reached over to stick a few dollars in the large tip jar near the cash register to her right.  Smiling at the person behind the counter, she left the store, happy as the children at the tables, gobbling up their sundaes and cones.

Why gelato is better than ice cream?

It was her first time in the big city and the first time she had ever lived away from home.  She was starting college in a few days, and she was determined to get over her initial fears of wandering by herself and discover what the city had to offer.  So, after a quick breakfast in her dorm room she had grabbed her purse and set out to discover her new home.   She spent the morning at a large museum looking at art that she had only previously seen in books and tried to unobtrusively people watch those about her, noticing how fashionable the women looked and how sophisticated everyone seemed.

As the noon hour approached, she wandered out to a large park for some fresh air.  The day was warm and she looked for a vendor selling cold drinks or ice cream.  As she rounded a corner towards a monument to some war hero, she saw a man with a cart selling gelato in paper cups.  She had never had gelato.  Well, she thought to herself, you wanted to broaden your horizons and take in new experiences, this is the time!   She ordered some chocolate gelato and walked over to a bench to try her new treat.

The gelato was denser than ice cream and softer in texture.  While the chocolate ice cream of her home town tasted like “chocolate”, the gelato tasted like chocolate with a capital “C”.  It also made her feel like one of the sophisticated ladies at the museum–she was eating a European dessert in one of the biggest cities in the world on a beautiful late summer day.  She finished her gelato and threw the cup into the nearby waste bin.  Smiling at the gelato vendor as she resumed her walk, she loved her first taste of the Italian dessert and it wouldn’t be her last.


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