"Chill the box and you get a cool, loose jelly. Freeze it and you get sorbet."


At 5:30 on Saturday, I made my way to the Rockefeller Center location of La Maison du Chocolate. My objective? A postively luscious cup of dark chocolate sorbet and hazelnut ice cream. There, at the ice cream case in the front of the shop, sat eight neat containers with tightly lidded white covers. "Ice cream?" I inquired.

The saleswoman glanced over. "We stop serving ice cream 45 minutes before closing. Maybe you should come earlier next time."

A part of me wanted to beg her to simply open the white lid and make a quick scoop. After all, it was right there. But the women looked so stern—what could I do, but sadly shuffle away.

Dejected, and a bit hungry, I walked across 48th Street; near Fifth Avenue, I turned into Minamoto Kitchoan to take inventory of any new Japanese sweets. I peeked into all the glass cases, but was quickly distracted the minute I saw the word "sorbet" in a description lineup. It was called "Muscat Jelly," and I had to have it.

Each single serving jelly box goes for $3.50, in flavors including grape, muscat, and peach. Chill the box and you get a cool, loose jelly. Freeze it and you get sorbet. Pretty awesome, huh? You can purchase them at room temperature, but if you're desperate to eat as soon as possible, Minamoto has frozen ones in stock. Between the trio of flavors, it was easy to go with the muscat, a floral, delicate, almost wine-like taste that's often underused in non-Asian sweets. I took my frozen box to a bench outside and spooned away half as a sorbet, then let it sit for a few more minutes, and consumed the remainder as a light, sweet summer jelly. I'll make it back to La Maison du Chocolat next week, but I was more than delighted with this unexpected afternoon find.

Minamoto Kitchoan

608 Fifth Avenue, New York NY 10020 (map)


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