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Ice cream etiquette

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1. What when and how?

Ice-cream is exquisite. What a pity it isn’t illegal. Voltaire‘s words, not ours. Ice cream is timeless. You can serve -and especially eat- it at all times. It’s never too late, never too early.

In Palermo people go to a bar or a parlour to have ice cream. The boxed industrial version is still an oddity in Sicily.

You can have a cone, a bowl or a brioche. Instead of balls it comes in a variable quantity smeared with a spatola.

ice cream in a brioche

2. Ice for an ice

ice cream on display

Eating ice cream is comforting. Films and television enhanced the effect and stretched it to the limit. It often features as an anti depressant. Something to turn to when things go wrong.

Which is acceptable as long as you may savour it when feeling perfectly happy, too.

When in Italy, a visit to a parlour is highly recommended. The people serving are wizards with a spatola. No bungling bored and inept temps there.

3. Ceci c'est pas ice cream


This is an ancient preparation the Arabs brought to Italy, in particular to Sicily. Fruit juice and rose water are slowly frozen in snow. Special designed snow pits allowed them to have their sherbets even in summertime.


Originally it was frozen citrus juice, water and sugar. Over the years it evolved. Apart from fruit juice, you now have coffee, almond and chocolate granita. If you ever find yourself traveling in Sicily, order a granita with a brioche. Breakfast of champions!


4. And neither is this



The name, it turns out, does not derive from ‘sherbet’ but from the Latin verb sorbere. Pureed fruit (50% minimum) and sugar (25% maximum) are slowly frozen while turning the mixture constantly.


80% of fruit is roughly crushed. Sugar and water are added before slowly freezing the mixture. It is usually smoother than granita.


An original Roman preparation. All you need is a solid block of ice and a grater.  You then add fruit juice or syrup.

5. Dos and donts

Cream and sugar do make your waist expand. Even when frozen.

Don’t pretend ice cream to be healthy. And don’t search for healthy ice cream neither.

Keep it real: Smurf neither rainbow are actual tastes. Avoid licking them.

But if you are into strange tastes and novelties, come to the sherbeth festival. 

smurf ice cream

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