You may think: “The cheese done fell off her cracker,” when you see me posting about Italian Ice in the middle of winter.
But if you’re dealing with dietary restrictions, it’s good to know a few things about the icy nibble. It’s fat free, gluten free, dairy free, cholesterol free, nut free, salt free, and vegan! That’s a lot of food freedom.
Even so, the low calorie, fruit/water mixture has a refreshing, satisfying taste all year round.
Give Your Taste Buds a Roman Holiday
I first came upon Italian ice during a visit to Rome. It was good, but gelato was even better. Then one day, after I returned home, I ran onto a guy restocking an ice cream display in Straubs.
We got into a conversation and I discovered I was talking to Barth Holohan, the owner of Sia’s flavored ices, a St. Louis based business.
As I examined one of the attractive containers, I asked about the name. Barth said it came from the first initial of his three daughters: Sabrina, Isabella and Amelia.
He’d started selling the hand-crafted ices from a food truck in 2012. A few years later, he opened a retail store in Des Peres, where customers today can view the open kitchen and enjoy a variety of the frosty fruit mixtures.
Not a Crushed Popsicle in a Cup
Made with Real Fruit
Similar products often contain excessive sugar and chemical flavorings. But Sia is all natural, lightly sweetened, and contains purified water.
Flavors include lemon, mango, blood orange, cherry, grape, strawberry, sweet and sour, pomegranate, orange pineapple, and mocha. The frozen dessert differs from sherbet in that it contains no dairy.
Sia’s was first available only from their food truck. But today the ices can be found in pint and half-pint contains in Straubs, Dierbergs, Schnucks, and Whole Foods as well as their Des Peres retail outlet.
Italian Ice may never completely replace chocolate ice cream for me. But I’ve found it to be perfect when you want something sweet, that’s not overly-filling and laden with fat.
A Cup of Optimism
Recently, while sitting around the fireplace on a frosty evening, sipping hot chocolate, my visiting friend reminded me that spring was nearly here. That seemed overly optimistic, but, as they say, “Hope springs eternal.”
Summer is just around the corner; stock up on Sia’s.