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The Difference Between Sorbet, Sherbet, and Sherbert

Are Sorbet, Sherbet, and Sherbert the Same Thing?

Are sorbet, sherbet, and sherbert all the same? Despite the fact that the legal definitions of sorbet and sherbet could be used interchangeably, there is a distinction among American frozen dessert manufacturers. Sherbet — which is alternatively spelled sherbert — is a frozen fruit and dairy product that contains anywhere from 1 percent to 3 percent milkfat from milk or cream. Anything above 3 percent is generally labeled ice cream; anything below 1 percent is referred to as water ice.

On the other hand, sorbet generally implies a fruit-based frozen dessert with little to no dairy — although the use of the term sorbet is unregulated. To add to the confusion, in other parts of the world, sherbet may refer to a fizzy powder stirred into beverages, or a beverage made of diluted fruit juice.

Image Source: Shutterstock
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moonsailor77 moonsailor77 4 years
Sherbet is not alternately spelled (or pronounced) "sherbert." Not now. Not ever. Sorry, it's a spelling/pronunciation battle I've been fighting for like 25 years. I think it's because it's the kinf of ice cream I liked growing up - orange, rainbow, you name it! :)
prencesschris prencesschris 6 years
makes a differnce to me since i'm lactose intolerant & anything that has dairy in it would make me sick.
runnereater runnereater 6 years
I was totally thinking the pic looked like Asian bread too!
GlowingMoon GlowingMoon 6 years
Uh, that pic is NOT of sorbet, sherbet, or sherbert. I think it's a pic of steamed sweet bread (it's Asian).
Spectra Spectra 6 years
I always kind of figured that sherbet had dairy in it because it's a bit creamier than sorbet. I happen to LOVE orange sherbet...it's one of my favorite desserts!
Pampire Pampire 6 years
Sherbert has the milk in it like ice cream but not as much. Sorbet doesn't have the milk. At least that's what I always thought! I've never heard of sherbet though!
hanmeng hanmeng 6 years
Thanks. I always wondered what "sorbet" was.
chiefdishwasher chiefdishwasher 6 years
If it looks like a duck it is a duck.....all the same.
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