After considerably discussion about what to call our extensive gelato testing, my tasters and I settled on The Gelato Derby. Not unlike the Kentucky Derby, many of our competitors were carefully chosen from the top of their class (with one exception, which we tried because of its ubiquity). In two weeks, we tried 15 different gelaterie in the historic center, sampling 8 of them more than once, and a few three and four times. For those of you counting on your fingers or actually in your head, this does mean that gelato was regularly consumed more than once a day. We made ourselves into human foie gras for the gelato rankings. We had ample opportunity to observe the happiness that gelato brings to people from all walks of life (including, on one occasion, the second grumpiest nun I have ever seen, with the most starched and uncomfortable habit I have seen). Gelato appears to be the afternoon coffee break of choice for many a grown-up worker in Rome. It is a mood-lifting food, even when less than perfect. And yet... am I going to write about the gelaterie today? No. No, I am not.
My boy has descended into illness (he's okay, he just needs some tending to), and I have woken at 4:30, 5 and 3:30am over the last several mornings to tend to the poor kid, which has NOT helped speed my jet lag recovery. My brain is like pudding, or even, say, like melted gelato, slipping rapidly away from me. I say Thanksgiving when I mean Easter, dinner when I mean the car, stop mid-sentence in conversations because I've forgotten what I am talking about, and have several bruises from clumsiness (okay, extra clumsiness) induced by sleeplessness. Trying to explain our ranking process right now without droning incoherently would be unpleasant for everyone.