Letter: Risky business with sorbetto, sorbet
Rose Weissman’s Aug. 26 letter (“Sorbetto and sorbet: A dangerous difference,” The Aspen Times) regarding Paradise Bakery has spurred me into action. As a mother of a child with severe food allergies, I agree with Weissman that Paradise’s selling of sorbetto (sorbet) without fully revealing the ingredients is a dangerous practice.
During the USA Pro Challenge (and well after Weissman’s experience), my family visited Paradise for an afternoon treat. My youngest daughter is terribly allergic to dairy and eggs, and thus, I always seek out sorbet because it is — by definition — both dairy- and egg-free. On that day, the bakery sold four flavors of sorbetto. My daughter sampled two before asking for “the pink one.” When I explained she couldn’t have that flavor because it was ice cream, the young man behind the counter informed us that all but one of the “sorbettos” contained dairy. We quickly ordered the nondairy version and asked for it without the complimentary cookie. It was handed to us with the cookie. We had to ask for another one for fear of contamination. By the time we walked outside, my daughter already had hives and my husband had to run to City Market for Benadryl. Just so you understand the severity of her allergies: I carry two EpiPens in my purse to stave off life-threatening reactions. I shudder to think what would have happened if we had unknowingly ordered a cup of one of the “sorbettos” containing dairy.
I will take some responsibility here. Food allergies are not to be messed with, and I should have double checked that the “sorbetto” was dairy-free. (I will never make that mistake again.) That said, simple labels with “contains dairy” would have caught my eye. They would catch the eye of anyone with an allergy or, in Weissman’s case, intolerance. Those with food allergies must be careful label readers — it can be a matter of life and death.
For Paradise to brush off Weissman’s suggestion of labeling with “they haven’t had a problem yet” is risky business. With two now publicly documented incidents, I hope the bakery reviews its policy.
Food editor, 5280 magazine, Denver
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