By Giada Zampano
ROME (AA) – An inventive ice-cream parlor in a tiny Italy town reopened its doors in early May after a two-month lockdown, celebrating its return with the launch of a very special gelato called “COVID-19, The Cure”.
The idea of naming an ice-cream after the novel coronavirus -- which has claimed more than 33,000 lives in Italy -- came as Tindara Spada and Eleonora Felisi, the two owners of Sweet Passion, an ice-cream shop in the little town of Busto Garolfo, a few kilometers from Milan, struggled to cope with the anxiety caused by the pandemic and the shop’s forced closure.
“It was a way to exorcise the virus and all the terrible things that happened in our country,” said Spada, who has been managing this popular gelato parlor since 2012 in the northern Lombardy region -- the Italian epicenter of the virus outbreak.
“We know that an ice cream cannot be the cure, but we thought that spreading optimism and happiness was the most important thing to do right now,” Spada added.
The special gelato is made of white chocolate cream, with a pistachios and nuts topping, and black cherries. The ice-cream is also decorated with “little green monsters” -- created by computer and printed by Felisi -- which depict the virus in a funny way.
Spada said the idea was born as a joke, but had an immediate success with the local clients. When the parlor reopened at the end of the lockdown on May 3, almost 5 kilograms (11 pounds) of new COVID-19 gelato were sold in just a couple of hours.
Spada and Felisi said they found new ways to stay in touch with their clients also during the quarantine, like using social media to launch their new initiative and writing them little notes when they delivered their gelato at home.
That is how the new “COVID-19, The Cure” ice cream went immediately -- needless to say -- viral.