EP word of the week (#45): gelado

Summer is finally here! To celebrate the occasion, from now on and until the end of the season the Words of the week segment will present you with words that are evocative of Summer or the holidays, including a series of posts on Portuguese cuisine to make you salivate (and/or bookpassages to spend some days with us in the sun)!

When the days get hotter, ice cream usually comes in handy to satiate the body’s need for something cold; it’s obviously not to everyone’s taste – cold drinks and light snacks will always be available if you stop by -, but it’s certainly a (very yummy) possibility (:

Like so many other words related to coldness [1] [2], the Portuguese word for ice cream is also different on the two sides of the Atlantic: Brazilians call it [o] sorvete; while Portuguese use the term [o] gelado (lit. “iced, icy”; we can be very literal sometimes).

In EP, the word [o] sorvete exists, but it applies only to fruit and sugar-based frozen desserts (that is, without the actual cream), therefore being similar to the English sorbetIn any case, [o] gelado is the most widely used term, even for what typically would be called a sorbet (only artisanal shops and posh restaurants would dare and care to clarify the difference).

Portugal’s biggest cities have seen an influx of new and old ice cream shops; in EP the word for an ice cream parlor is [a] gelataria. In Lisbon, one of the most well known is Santini; their store in Chiado is always packed in the summer, and they make excellent ice creams and sorbets, but you can find other artisanal ice cream shops in different parts of the city (here are two articles letting you know the number of good places you can find: [1][2]).

 

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