This past Saturday afternoon I did a Q&A discussion on South Florida agriculture at Lester’s, an awesome new cafe in Wynwood, owned by Daniel Milewski, who recently became a CSA member for the first time in his life. Him and his wife, Nina, owner of Gallery Diet which is also in Wynwood, have been friends of mine for a while. They are curating weekly events at Lester’s such as a comedy night, my talk on urban gardening and crab boils. Lester’s is not just a cafe, it’s a space for the exchange of ideas, reading, studying, meetings and fun.
As a result of my talk this weekend, I met a bunch of interesting people, including a few new CSA members who had been just a name on my computer until then. I chatted with the owner of the coolest new sorbet cart in town, Real Sorbet. Nick and his wife Tessa are relatively new to Miami, but they have Caribbean roots and are clearly on the same page as those of us who were raised here. They have been on the road for just 2 months, preparing home-made sorbets with seasonal, naturally grown tropical fruit and other interesting ingredients.
I’m very excited about what they are doing! Not only do they source fruit locally and seasonally, but they also use all natural ingredients, such as maple syrup from a family members’ farm, Dagoba organic chocolate, hand made coconut products and biodegradable cups and spoons. Obviously we have a lot in common and made plans for a garden visit right away.
Although it was a muggy, rainy day, when Nick and Tessa pulled up with their sorbet cart in tow, it was a refreshing sight! The colorful pattern that neatly covers the cute little cart, which was hand drawn by Tessa and digitally applied to the stainless steel, is eye catching, playful and fruity. After a wet garden tour we made our way back to the cart to trade sorbet for some tamarind, lemongrass and hibiscus leaves. Honestly, they came specifically for the tamarind, but as we talked and pointed out other plants, they were easily excited about every possibility. The big white umbrella went up, not for shade this time, and the cart instantly became a cozy spot to hang out.
Both Nick and Tessa have a highly developed pallet and it shows in their bold choice of flavors. Their menu may look simple, but once we got tasting, they brought out a couple surprises. Before I get carried away with the fancy flavors, I have to say that they really know how to capture the essence of a single fruit. Their banana maple syrup sorbet was made with Mysore bananas purchased from Siggi’s Organic Farm and I could taste all of the subtle nuances inherit in that particular variety. Their mango and their lychee sorbets were even better; I’d say they are just as good as eating the fresh fruit themselves.
They inspired my pallet when I tasted their red bean sorbet and then their peach yerba mate sorbet. I look forward to what they’ll produce with tamarind, which is such a sweet, tangy and distinctive flavor. You may be wondering where to find them to try these unique and locally fresh sorbets! Follow Real Sorbet on twitter for regularl updates on when and where to meet. One of their favorite spots is McCarren Park on the bay at 18th street, just north of the Venetian Causeway. They are also available for parties and events. Not only could you have the best dessert, but also two really cool party guests!