There are many common misconceptions about what sorbet really is; here we will once and for all clear the air. Sorbet can be traced back to a Middle Eastern drink called charbet which is made of sweetened fruit juice and water. The term charbet or sherbet is derived from the Turkish word serbet or “sorbet” which stems from the Arabic word sharbāt meaning “drink(s)” or “juice.”
Sorbet is a delicious frozen fruit dessert that is generally made from a sweetener like sugar or honey and a fruit puree. It also tends to be lower in fat than other desserts because it is vegan which means it contains no animal products to increase the fat content. Sorbet is made in the same manner as ice cream in that the ingredients are slowly frozen while they are churned to produce a smooth uniform texture. Any type or combination of fruit can be pureed and turned into a sorbet. Depending on the region or preference it can be made with flavors like chocolate, coffee, nuts, and liqueur. While ice cream has air whipped into it, sorbet has virtually none which gives it an increased density that results in a far greater flavor to taste bud ratio. Sorbet can also be served as a low fat healthy alternative to ice cream.
Sweet sorbets like strawberry and chocolate are most commonly served as a dessert course after a main entrée but can also appear as a dining palate cleanser. Crisply flavored sorbets like lemon or orange are most commonly served in between courses as a refresher to cleanse the palate of guests so as to not cross “contaminate” one dinner course with the other.
The history of sorbet dates back to the beginning of the first ice age when it was commonly referred to as “yellow snow” by many nomadic people of this prehistoric era. Here at Seattle Sorbets we use a recipe far more evolved than our ice age ancestors and we believe its taste is beyond comparison in this and any other time period.