Pistachio dreams. Italy vacations.The flavor of memory and desire.

An ice cream stall on Ponte Vecchio, Florence
Image via Wikipedia

Baskin Robins makes a pistachio ice cream with almonds. Others use cherry or almond syrup or synthetic flavorings to simulate pistachio taste. Hagen Daz pistachio ice cream is white. Are you kidding me?

What’s wrong with these people?  The perfect pistachio ice cream requires the simplest of ingredients—pistachios. Green pistachios.

But ahh ItalyNow, they understand pistachio. I still vividly remember our trip four years ago. Each day, we bought our requisite gelato cone from a street vendor. We always ordered pistachio though the second flavor could vary from chocolate to coffee or even cherry. From Rome to Siena to Pienza to Florence to Venice, we sated our pistachio craving daily with gelato redolent of the green goodness of pistachio, the elixir of pistachio, the essence of pistachio. We ate wonderful pasta everywhere we went in Italy but what I will remember most was the perfect creamy pistachio ice cream infusion each day of our journey.

But, wait there’s more. I am holding back. I’m about to reveal the most insane pistachio treat we had in Venice. I still dream of it, I am sick to tears that we did not discover it until our last day in Venice. We were walking along the Grand Canal, lined by bakeries and shops. At each bakery, row upon row of fragrant cannoli beckoned us from the windows. But we refrained.  Then we saw a window in which sat a tray filled with fat, crumbly cannoli that had a tease of green peeking out from the chocolate coated edges. We bought one. Only one as we’d already had our gelato fix barely an hour earlier.

We walked along the canals, heading for our last supper at a waterside café across a bridge and through a labyrinth of streets back toward the Academie Museum.  Along the way, we stopped to taste our pistachio cannoli. It was a revelation. It was a symphony. It was decadence. It was sex. It was better than sex. And there was only the one. And we could not go back. We had run out of time. We could only remember forever that aahhh sense of profound gustatory joy, Now, that’s pistachio!



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