Summer: time for school break, salty air, tanlines, and favorite frozen treats. We've already learned about the science behind melting ice cream, so now it's time to hear the low down (or rather, the meltdown) on sorbet. What is sorbet, and is it healhter than ice cream? 

Where is it from?

Sorbet first popped up in history in the 17th century when sugar was added to frozen drinks. Antonio Latini of Naples, Italy is credited with the creation of sorbetto (aka sorbet). In addition, he is also credited with the creation of a milk-based sorbet, otherwise known as an early version of ice cream. Basically, Antonio is a dessert hero. What a guy. 

What is in it?

beet, vegetable, sweet, beet salad, salad, cream
Katherine Richter

The only two ingredients in sorbet are fruit and sugar. Pretty simple, right? The simplicity of the recipe makes sorbet an easy desert to make right at home. Try this restaurant copycat recipe! 

How is it made?

strawberry, ice, cream, sweet, sorbet, berry, dairy product, milk, yogurt, banana, smoothie, pouring, cup, glass
Caroline Ingalls

Making sorbet is a simple process. All one needs to do is to make a basic sugar syrup (equal parts sugar and water) and blend with the fruit or fruit juice of your choice. After the mixture is blended, pop it in the freezer overnight. A more intricate process involves refridgerating the fruit/sugar mixture and pouring it into an ice cream churner to achieve a smoothie-like texture. 

Sorbet vs. Ice Cream

The main difference between these two frozen favorites are the ingredients: sorbet is dairy free, while traditional ice cream is made with dairy. While sorbet is dairy free, it is high in sugar, often more so than ice cream. On the other hand, ice cream is slightly higher in fat. Those who are lactose intolerant or sensitive to dairy may opt for sorbet as an ice cream alternative, while those who want a (little) less sugar may opt for ice cream or gelato.

So what is sorbet? A summer frozen treat best enjoyed on a hot day, just like ice cream and gelato. If you're in the mood for something cool and refreshing, sorbet is the way to go. Want something creamier? Take the ice cream instead. There are a few material differences between these frozen treats, but in the end I'm happy to enjoy them both.