Back in the ’50s, hawkers in Rimini, on the Adriatic Coast of Italy, would wander the beaches and sell lemon-shaped sorbetto-on-a-stick, to the delight of beachgoers.
Today these popsicles, made under the brand Lolly, have made their way to our shores. Remarkably they are still handmade in Italy, and a double-creaming process results in a texture light as snow. It’s amazing the airy ice hangs on to the wooden stick at all.
The company that makes them, La Galvanina, seeks out the best organic fruit from within Italy, and only when they’re in season. That means lemons and blood oranges from Sicily, peaches and kiwis from Emilia-Romagna, and strawberries and watermelon from the Veneto region.
The water used is the company’s own mineral water, sourced from an ancient spring that was discovered by the Romans.
The popsicles are available through online grocery retailer FreshDirect in limited flavors: Sicilian Lemon, Blood Orange, Strawberry, and Wild Berry.
The best of the bunch is the Sicilian Lemon, and the first bite impresses with an explosion of fragrance somewhere between herbal-tinged zest and lemon blossoms. It’s not overly sugary but still has that satisfying balance between tart and sweet. My 6-year-old couldn’t be bothered to part with that flavor in favor of the strawberry one—which in fairness, was lovely also.
The company must know the appeal of the Sicilian fruit, as they use 10 percent Sicilian lemon juice in all the other popsicles. The Blood Orange is also very good—and I’d say better suited for adults—with its balance of citrusy and pleasingly bitter flavors.
As you eat the sorbetto, it becomes a little precarious; it threatens to slide off the stick, but that’s the price to pay for its lack of reliance on artificial stabilizers. And after all, what’s summer without a little bit of a sticky, sweet mess?
Available exclusively from FreshDirect.com, $5.99 for a box of four.