Flower shaped foods. To

name a few:  generic molds (puddings, jellos and your occasional liver mouse) that adorn many a budget buffet; a vegetable garnish that rarely looks like a flower but rather some oddly chopped radish or mutilated carrot; and, the “fruit bouquets” of simplistic origami fruit cuts (typically less than mediocre quality melon pieces) that the secretarial pool goes gaga for.  Of all these I am not a fan. I’ve had intricately sliced sushi, monochromatic hues that formed a delicate posy – true artistic and culinary moments. I’ve had countless misshapen “floral” cookies that were amazing treats: even as a child my mom’s simple butter cookies with a chocolate center were memorable bite-sized daisies.  Then there’s the cone I had today at the polished Italian ice creamery, AMORINO. Have your pick of flavors – you’re allowed as many as you’d like – and watch as they are slivered away from their colorful mounds and “petaled” into a cone to become an ice cream flower of sorts. Lots of work to create these flowers of rich gelato from select ingredients that teem with flavor sensations.

Careful, besides the price ($5.25 for a cone) and time (these are labor intensive creations), too many flavor combinations will send you into sensory overload. Put some thought into that pretty cone – I had chocolate (dark), hazelnut, vanilla and banana. Each hit my tongue with a big bang but with the pervasiveness of the banana the spell broke after the first mouthful of licks. Next time, I will keep the flower arrangement simple. AMORINO, 60 University Place (at East 10th Street), NYC. Open daily, 11a.m.-12p.m. www.amorino.com

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