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Sofi Award 2009
Silver Moon

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Mid afternoon and the sun is high and warm, but you wouldn't know it standing within the cool, cave-like walls of our production facility in the heart of Belmont. I can see in the far corner of our clean room a gleam of silver, my shiny Cattibriga ice cream maker; ready for another long day of producing the perfectly frozen treats you enjoy so much.

My first trip is to gather my ingredients. Pristine shelves of sugar, cream, various fruit purees and of course, liqueurs await my arrival. Looking at my secret recipe I choose what I need for this batch− the Mango Mimosa sorbet. I grab my sugar, mango puree and a bottle of bubbly champagne, among other things, and head back into the clean room. Mixing them into the perfect consistency for sorbet, a thick but soupy liquid of the most incredibly bright yellow-orange color, I thank the mango for its naturally beautiful hue and my lack of need for artificial flavor or color.

You may not know, but though I follow the perfected recipe very precisely, I always taste the mix before pouring it into the happily humming Cattibriga. This one tastes perfect, a result of my earlier trial and error period, and I pour the bucket into the top of the machine until the submarine-like circular window fills up to the top with the yellow substance.

And now I play the waiting game, another five minutes or so and the sorbet will be done. I wipe down the counters, put away the ingredients, anything to distract me for the anxious waiting for the sorbet is ready. When the consistency in the little machine window is icy and soft, I turn the dial to what should be labeled "eject" with a small happy face underneath. The machine starts humming as the sunshine yellow sorbet bellows in slow bulges out of the silver cooling container of the Cattibriga and into the clean white tub. I have found a spatula is the best way to extract every tasty scoop of the machine, and I scoop the edges of the silver machine's container to finish the batch. And, of course, I do a final taste test to make sure the product is held to our high standard with a clean, colorful sampling spoon! Jealous?

After the tub is full, the top is covered with parchment paper and whisked away to the flash freezer. An imposing dark silver machine, the flash freezer operates at -40°F to ensure the sorbet and ice cream freezes completely through. At this point, it will either be left in the white tubs for food service clientele or hand packed into individual pints in a mini assembly line of white trench coated ice cream lovers. And there is nothing more satisfying than hearing the crisp snap of the tamper-proof lid on a freshly filled Silver Moon pint, the jubilant faces on the container smiling back at me. The pints are then shrink wrapped into eight-pint packs to be carefully transported to the fine foods retailers for you to enjoy!