Your First Taste of Gelato Really is the Sweetest

 In Food

Creamy, rich and bursting with flavor; those are the things that come to mind when I think about my first gelato experience at age 21 in Venice, Italy. I was hooked at first lick.

Why am I surprised that my son would be any different?

At the ripe old age of 3 Dek discovered this milk-based frozen treat while in Ferrara, Italy this past October. He savored those first bites of yogurt and strawberry gelato, as well he should have.

Not only was this his first taste of gelato, this was Dek’s first taste of any ice cream product or sugar-based treat…ever.

I am the mom that has withheld all of the world’s delicious sweet delicacies from her son, explaining that they were “mommy treats,” a silly phrase he accepted without question.

However, when we got to Ferrara and he saw my friend’s two little girls, one of whom was younger than he, getting to enjoy their very own cones, well, how could I deprive him any longer.

Our trips to the gelato shop soon became known as “super special mommy treats.”

While I indulged in chocolate, caramel, mint, and various fruit flavored gelato, I did continue my cruel streak by keeping Dek limited to yogurt, strawberry and mixed berry gelato wherever we went.

Dek was more than happy with this arrangement. After a week of random trips to the gelato shop Dek started asking, “can we have a super special mommy treat now?” It didn’t matter if it was breakfast, lunch or in the middle of dinner. He knew he was getting something amazing for the first time and he wanted more.

And more he got.

In Tuscany we came across an award-winning gelato shop, world-renowned in fact. Of course we have to stop once a day to sample all of their specialty flavors (more on that spot later!)

By the time we got to Sicily we had stopped our daily trips to the gelato shop, but Dek still kept his eyes peeled.

On our last night in Sicily Mike and I popped into a bar/gelato shop for a quick sandwich before heading back to my friend’s house. Dek saw that they had gelato and instantly asked for a “fragola,” which is Italian for strawberry (who says kids aren’t motivated to learn a new language. Ha!)

I couldn’t resist. I let him have one, totally spoiling his dinner. I just didn’t care any more. This was Italy. When would he have something this great again?

Once we were in London all signs of gelato seemed to have gone. Dek stopped asking for a gelato every day. He went back to asking for fruit and regular old yogurt like he always does.

And then we wandered into the Jubilee Market across from Covent Garden.

There at the front was a stand selling gelato. It was about 50 degrees, maybe less, and rainy, but you better believe Dek started asking for a treat right away. At this point in our trip I was too exhausted to even think about saying no. Dek happily licked away while we pushed him in the stroller to the Tube station.

Our gelato adventure took us through two countries, many towns and just a little bit of guilt for letting him indulge so much.

Has Dek asked me for a “super special mommy treat” since our return? Oddly enough no. Perhaps I will get lucky and Dek will only associate gelato with our travels. I can live with that.

Or maybe this is just the start of a downward spiral to me having to share all of my beloved junk food with my son.

I think I’ll just hope he likes savory treats like his dad. I mean really, I don’t mind him having a sweet treat every now and then, but if he goes nuts what will I eat? This was never about health after all; it was always about more for mommy. My first taste of gelato spoiled me for life, and I’m not much for sharing it.


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Showing 10 comments
  • Bethaney - Flashpacker Family

    Yum! What a lucky guy, having his first taste of gelato in Italy.

  • Lisa Wood

    Sounds so very yummy! And yeah we held off on the sugar treats with our oldest son for a long time, and then our youngest son was given everything/anything at a very young age 🙂
    Gelato Icecream is the best type of Icecream, even the naughty treats are the best flavour.

  • Alyson

    Love it! I’ve long give up on my boys, they love good quality dark chocolate as much as I do. I hate sharing!! Thank goodness they don’t like coffee yet!

  • Kimberly, The Fur Mom

    Yummm. Gelato sounds so good right now. It’s 6:25 in the morning. LOL

  • Lisa

    I’m so happy that you finally let that boy have some ice cream!! 🙂

  • Elaine N. Schoch

    Oh, I remember my first gelato in Italy walking down a small street in Florence….it was stracciatella. Yum! Can’t wait to experience my girls first Italian gelato next summer – every day, maybe even for breakfast. =)

  • sasha travel blogger

    Italy is the place to experience your first Gelato. I am like you though, mean to my kids in the respect that they have healthy ‘desserts’ consisting of fruit and yoghurt. You’ve got to be cruel to be kind sometimes right? ha!

  • Jenna

    I worried that my older son would just want sweet stuff all the time, so, like you, I didn’t get it to him when he was small. Then when he was 2-3, he started trying treats with his cousins in Brazil. That led to about a year of wanting candy even for breakfast, but he outgrew that and still prefers fruit now. I can see why you guys enjoyed the gelato so much. Yum and more yum. I wish I had had more of it on this last trip. Nice photos, btw.

  • Jess

    Aww, so cute! I think if you’re going to have one sugar-based treat in your life, it should be ice cream. And if you’re going to have one ice-cream-ish thing, it should be Italian gelato.

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