I was answering a question someone had asked about the inspiration for my latest book FORGOTTEN MISTRESS, SECRET LOVE-CHILD and one of the things that came to mind was walking through a town on Lake Como in Northern Italy, eating lemon gelato. Fantastic!
Of course that wasn't really the inspiration for the story, but I spent a fair bit of time researching the location and of course that had to include local food! I remember quite a few things about that long ago visit to the area where this book was set, but the fantastic tangy gelato is one of the most vivid.
I'm a gelato fan. A friend of mine used to go out with an Italian guy whose dad made gelato. I've never tasted anything as luscious as his chocolate gelato (so rich and dark) or his lime and lemon. Mm! Since then my tastes have expanded and I've tried berry and coffee and fruit gelati. In fact I haven't yet met a gelato I don't like.
I'm not alone. These icy treats have been around for hundreds of years, or thousands. It's believed they've evolved from the ice treats that used to be available to the ultra wealthy in ancient Rome, made from snow brought down from the mountain tops. Apparently they featured at Medici family banquets in Florence a couple of centuries ago. Since then ice cream and gelati have been spreading around the world.
I get a thrill walking into a gelateria (I've been to a few just recently) and deciding which to try. Blood orange was a recent fave and I've got all those nut flavors to taste too. Gelato generally has a lower fat content than ice cream so I can pretend when I eat it that I'm being healthy (slightly). But then, a really good ice-cream, rum and raisin for instance, is a delight.
So, which are you? A gelato gobbler or an ice cream eater? Or both? And which is your fave flavor? Do you remember the first time you tried gelato/ice cream? My mother tells the story of seeing the sea for the first time about about 5 years of age and being given her first ice cream at the same time. Sadly no one warned her that if you lick too hard the scoop can roll out and land at your feet.
Just for the fun of it, I'm giving away a signed copy of my latest Presents Extra title: FORGOTTEN MISTRESS, SECRET LOVE-CHILD to one person who contributes a comment. Otherwise, you can order the book from Amazon or Barnes and Noble. I think it's a story even more luscious than gelato, and to give you a taste, the back cover begins with 'He's forgotten their past but not her body...'