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Feb 29, 2008 08:12 AM

Does chocolate sorbet actually exist?

My former roommate and I have been having this argument for years.

Obviously, companies, restaurants and stores market "chocolate sorbet" but I was under the impression that a sorbet is only an actual sorbet if it is made with fruit.

Who is right?

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  1. I think what makes sorbet "sorbet" is that it's not made with milk/cream etc.

    9 Replies
    1. re: MMRuth

      Yup - it's essentially water, sugar, and whatever flavor - and it's just another word for "sherbet." That said, I don't recall if I've ever actually seen chocolate sorbet - it is theoretically possible, but it'd have to be awfully chocolaty to be interesting.

      1. re: Will Owen

        Some chocolate sorbets are wonderful - Ciao Bella comes to mind (NYC Brand).

        1. re: MMRuth

          Ciao Bella Ciccolato Sorbetto...not just one of the best sorbets out there, but one of the best frozen treats i.m.h.o.

        2. re: Will Owen

          as ruth said, ciao bella is is the bittersweet one from il laboratorio del gelato.

          haagen dazs is passable.

          1. re: goodhealthgourmet

            I have a Ciao Bella on my block! The fact that I can't go in w/ my dog helps me with self restraint issues. The chocolate sorbet is a wonderful flavor and, well, I love every flavor I've had at Il Laboratorio.

          2. re: Will Owen

            I define sherbet as fruit based (sorbet) but with some dairy, and sorbet as having no dairy.

            1. re: babette feasts

              This is pretty much the way I differentiate them as well. BTW, chocolate sorbet exists in my kitchen in the summer--easy to make with an ice cream maker!

              1. re: babette feasts

                Absolutely. Dairy and sorbet are mutually exclusive to me. Which explains why chocolate sorbet is always dark chocolate -- but like some other sorbets (coconut) it has some fat without having milk (sherbet I think almost always has fat added in the form of milk).

                1. re: Adrienne

                  Sorbets are just a grey area, it seems:

         - sorbet can have dairy, just not cow's milk

         - sherbet legally has to have a certain amount of milkfat, sorbet does/doesn't have any milk

         - "I'd say that current American usage suggests that a sorbet is non-dairy, and that once you add milk or cream you have some kind of ice cream. Translated European cookbooks seem to have a broader definition of sorbet, one that means something like "without (much) cream or eggs".

                  Etymologically, sorbet and sherbet are the same word. In the US, sherbet is defined as containing dairy, while sorbet lacks a legal definition. Technically, a sweetened frozen fruit juice dessert is classified by the government as a 'water ice'. I presume that the many things are called sorbets because 'water ice' sounds clunky and unappealing in most parts of America."

          3. Hagen Daaz (sp?) has a Chocolate Sorbet. I saw some in a showcase a couple of hours ago.