First, some math.

Two. That’s the number of samples many Lower East Side ice cream parlors are limiting customers to. They seem to have a good reason, too—allowing every customer to have essentially unlimited samples slows down operations, stores get crowded and other customers wait even longer.

But take a look at the menu for the China Town Ice Cream Factory. They offer 35 flavors of ice cream—45 if you count their sorbet offerings. Red bean, black sesame, and longan sorbet are all flavors included in this menu. Unfortunately, not everyone is familiar with the taste of longan.

Perhaps that’s manageable for you. Fine. What about il laboratorio del gelato, which has nearly 200 flavors? Two samples. You now have to commit to a full serving of gelato after only being allowed to try one percent of what’s available. No person should have to buy dessert under that sort of pressure.

Now, a solution: Smells. Smells are a great way to sell anything. Just bottle the smell of a flavor, and spray the customer in the face when they ask for a sample. If they don’t like it, they can ask for another, and you can just continue spraying them in the face until they like it. It’s efficient, fast, and doesn’t waste any precious ice cream on freeloading ingrates.

Or, you can just do what some places do and let the customers try what they want, as long as they intend to buy. Because who the hell is going to know what mastic-flavored gelato is supposed to taste like, anyway?

(Photo: ulterior epicure/Flickr)