We watched the girl with the ice cream as she walked away. She was
pretty. Or so we think. We don't remember. Our eyes were on the ice
We had just eaten lunch, which presented a dilemma: We were full,
but there went by that heavenly ice cream.
"How 'bout we get one cone and share," Jessica said.
Jessica is nothing if not a problem solver.
Through pantomime, she motioned to the counter guy that she wanted
precisely what the young woman had ordered. Confusion followed. As
Jessica pointed down the street, the counter guy wore the befuddled
expression of someone wondering why a customer would want a parked
car or a tree. Jessica mimed more emphatically, like someone who
speaks louder to a person who doesn't speak the same language. The
guy's face lit up with the universal "ah-ha, I get it!" and he put
together the complicated cone.
It involved coffee ice cream with dulce de leche (exquisite milk
caramel) mixed with hazelnuts and dipped in chocolate that formed a
hard shell around the ice cream. Oh, did I say hazelnuts?
I'm sorry. That's the part that is in dispute, isn't it?
Unaware at the time just how consequential that ice cream cone
would become, I did not take notes. I just stood on the corner
trying to lick more than my share.
On our last day in Buenos Aires, we sat on a bench enjoying one
final cone each and did what the city's residents do: argued about
which of the heladerías (ice cream parlors) makes the best ice
cream. Porteños, as residents of Buenos Aires call themselves,
debate ice cream like barbecue hounds debate barbecue.