Saturday, July 13, 2013

Try it, you'll like it! (July theme: Ice Cream) by Tracy Barrett

When I saw a sign on a storefront in New York saying “Il Laboratorio del Gelato” I couldn’t help stepping in. It looked like a chem lab, full of stainless steel and with serious-looking people in white coats scooping small mounds into dishes. Many of the bins had unfamiliar labels—what’s “cajeta”? Can you really make sage ice cream (do you want to)? Red bean ice cream? Do you need five different apple sorbets based on five different kinds of apple?

I almost defaulted to my favorite combination—hazelnut and chocolate—but at the last minute I realized I was being a coward, and I asked the “chemist” to surprise me with two flavors that people hardly ever chose but that she thought went well together. She thought for a moment and then scooped out two flavors that made me uneasy.

While the olive oil gelato looked pretty good, the black sesame nestled next to it was less than appetizing (it looked like asphalt), plus neither one sounded appetizing as an ice cream flavor.

But—wow. It was unbelievable. A highlight of my culinary experience.

The lesson? Trying something new is always worth it. It might be a bust, but that’s okay. You can always try another flavor next time.

I try to extend that to my writing. I challenge myself frequentlly, and the more afraid I am of doing something, the more I force myself to do it. I never tried NaNoWriMo until last year (pesky day job got in the way), and it scared me, but I wound up with a pretty decent manuscript and also learned something about my writing process. I’m trying something weird and meta with the structure of my work in progress, and it scares me that I might spend a long time on it and wind up trashing it.

But like black sesame and olive oil gelati, it might wind up being delicious.


  1. I'm not sure I'd like olive oil or black sesame gelato, but I'm sure I loved this post! Yay for trying new things. :)

  2. I didn't think I'd like either one of them, but it was amazing! I recently had a basil popsicle; also terrific. Who knew?

  3. I LOVE trying new, tasty treats. Would like to know where this amazing place is so I can sample the delights.

    1. Just click on their name in the first line of the post, Darlene!

  4. This is so cool, Tracy. I gotta get me some gelato. This is the second post this month about the stuff...