The Original Rainbow Food

By Joe Sevier


Joe Sevier
Pastry Chef Karla Subero's Rainbow Sherbet
Pastry Chef Karla Subero's Rainbow Sherbet

Stop everything and think about 1988 for one second.

If I’m right, you were whisked away to a suburban mall as you stood, waiting anxiously in the 31 Flavors vestibule for a cone topped with a mélange of pink, green, and orange pseudo-ice cream.

You don’t need a time machine to experience the joy that is rainbow sherbet (say it, “SURE-bet”). At Here’s Looking at You in Los Angeles, Pastry Chef Karla Subero serves a version that’s equal parts nostalgia and polychromatic deliciousness.

To make it, Subero starts with a sweetened condensed milk base, divided by four. Lime juice—plus a little green coloring—goes into the first, orange juice into another, pineapple juice into the third, and raspberry purée into the last. The flavored sherbet bases are then spun separately in Pacojet canisters. To combine them, Subero lays a base of pristine white pineapple sherbet in a third pan and then pipes the other flavors haphazardly—but methodically—into the pineapple. The method to the haphazard madness is key: “Space out the colors when piping to get a variegated swirl in the final scoop,” says Subero, but not too much. “If you pipe too close together, or if you don’t pipe them into each other enough, you won't end up with that cool tie-dyed effect.”

Subero serves the rainbow sherbet in big round scoops over a salad of bruléed pineapple, torn raspberries, and orange segments. Now if we could only get away with wearing old-school jams, summer would be complete.

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