THE MYSTERY BEHIND SHERBET (AND HOW TO PRONOUNCE IT)

Posted by Turkey Hill Team on October 24th, 2007


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sherbet_orange-grove.jpgThe other day we realized that lost in all of our Ice Cream Journal blogging efforts was an often overlooked and underappreciated frozen dessert. Of course, we’re talking about sherbet. As many of you know, Turkey Hill makes sherbet in a variety of flavors, including orange and fruit rainbow.

First thing’s first: let’s get the pronunciation down before we proceed. Though it can be spelled as “sherbet” or “sherbert,” most experts agree that the correct pronunciation is “sher-bit” (sounds like “hermit”), not “sher-bert.” Herbert may love sherbet, but not because it rhymes with his name. We know the pronunciation may sound strange. Especially to those who have spent their whole lives pronouncing that second R.

So what is sherbet? Most of us know it as a low-fat, fruit flavored alternative to ice cream. And even though most people don’t consider sherbet to be in the same family as ice cream, you might be surprised to know that sherbet in the U.S. is required to have a milkfat content of between 1 and 2 percent. Anything more is officially ice cream. Anything less and you’ve got water ice.

While ice cream has lots of air whipped into it to make it fluffy and creamy, sherbet has almost no air. The result is a much denser, more flavorful product. Sherbet is also closely related to sorbet, with the difference being that sorbet is strictly ice and fruit juice, whereas sherbet can contain eggs or dairy products. 

But if you’re ever in the United Kingdom and you get a craving for sherbet, don’t be surprised if someone offers you a powder that you can stir into drinks to make them fizzy. Because in Britain, that’s exactly what sherbet is!

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31 Responses to “THE MYSTERY BEHIND SHERBET (AND HOW TO PRONOUNCE IT)”

  1. Greg C says:

    Nice! Now I have an official link to send people to when they ask me why I pronounce the word sherbet like I do. I just say it like it looks like I should say it! (Although… when I was a kid, I learned—from hearing other people say it—that it was “sherbert”, so it has been an interesting transition to say it the “right” way!) :-)

    By the way, this was my “ice cream” of choice last night—Turkey Hill Sherbet! Good timing!

  2. Dani says:

    So it’s not actually sherbet that gets mixed with the ice cream in a Duetto flavor, it’s flavored ice. I get it now! Thanks, Ernie! :)

  3. Maryann says:

    I thought sherbert was mixed into Duetto, you learn something new every day. Turkey Hill has great sherbert. My kids eat it in the summer and in the winter when they have a sore throat, and I love it as a thirst quencher. Thanks again Turkey Hill.

  4. Artemis says:

    I do enjoy sherbet..I sometimes mix it with choco ice cream I like that tangy mix taste! An I do like to add some wet nuts!

  5. JimFM says:

    I have tried both your orange and rainbow sherberts and both are great. I have two questions for you. Do you make a lime sherbert by itself and how many points would this be for weight watchers. I know it can’t be as low as your fat free, sugar free ice cream, but is it lower than regular ice cream ?

  6. Turkey Hill Team says:

    Glad to hear everyone likes our sherbet. And you’re right Dani, Duetto is actually mixed with something called Venice Ice. It’s different from sherbet. That gives me an idea…we should write a blog entry about the differences between sherbet, Venice Ice and Italian Ice.

  7. Jennifer says:

    Good idea Turkey Hill, I would love to hear all about the differences between Venice ice and Italian Ice and isn’t there gelato too (I don’t know if I am spelling that correctly)

  8. Caroline says:

    We also want to know the difference between Italian, Venice, regular ice plus the old street vendor who added syrup to shaved ice.
    By the way if some of the vanilla icecream mixes in with my Vinice Rasberry Ice in my Duetto do I have SherBIT?

  9. Maryann says:

    Great idea! An explanation about Venice ice. I’ll be waiting!!

  10. Christina says:

    wow, so I’m baffled for saying sherbert my whole entire life! I have a lot of correcting to do for past years! So I’ll eat some and everything will be just peachy! Yum! (Lover of Cherry Duetto)

  11. Stefanie Schmidt says:

    This is a great tasting fruity dessert!

  12. Jean says:

    HEY WATCH WE HERE ARE CLEVELAND INDIANS FANS SUPPORTERS. YOU SHOULD HAVE HAD ONE DRESSED AS INDIANS ALSO.

  13. Sylvia Bond says:

    I love raspberry ice cream and can only find it with chocolate chips..do you ever intend to make just plain raspberry? Of course your vanilla ice cream with rapberries on top is wonderful, too.

  14. Norma Lopresti says:

    After reading this Turkey Hill blog, I believe I will have ice cream for breakfast!

  15. Kathryn Singleton says:

    These blogs are unreadable.

  16. Kathryn Singleton says:

    Vanilla Bean sugar free, and fat free is my favorite. If I could eat regular ice cream, I would love every flavor you make.

  17. Diana Eilam says:

    When visiting Pennsylvania a few years ago, I had some “shoe fly pie” whose taste I cannot forget. I think if you make a flavor combining your vanila ice cream with chunks of shoe fly pie it will be wonderful.

  18. Tammie says:

    So if sherbet is pronounced like hermit then is sorbet pronounced like orbit? Should it not be sher-bay like sor-bay?

  19. Carla Buckner says:

    Such fond memories of Turkey Hill Rainbow Sherbet. I currently live in New Mexico and do not have access to the wonderful sherbet. I recalled when I lived in Croton on the Hudson, NY and I had begun dating, I had a craving for Turkey Hill Rainbow Sherbet. My date offerred to take me to get some. After we drove, and drove, and drove, he inquired where we had to go to get any. I indicated that the only place that I knew was in Pennslyvannia. He complied with my wishes and when we got to the store in Pennslyvannia, they were out. I spent 15 years with that man until he died of cancer. It was only later that he came to a store near where I lived.

  20. lolsuz says:

    Tammie, the word sherbet originated from Middle-Eastern words, while the word sorbet came to us from French. English is a young language by world standards, and got most of its words from other, older languages. The pronunciation for the original words influenced how they would be spelled and pronounced in their new English form. That’s why we write enough and not enuff, and any instead of enny. Sherbet and sorbet are no different; we pronounce and spell them the way we do because we’re following the form of the older words they’re descended from.

  21. mein liebling says:

    Sherbet and sorbet both have the same Arabic root, sharbat. Sherbet is an English permutation and sorbet is a French permutation. If you want to say something less awkward than \sherbit\ you can say SOR-BAY LAY-TI-AY (sorbet laitier) which is the French designation for sherbet.

  22. John says:

    Sorbet is an English word. It was derived from the Turkish, which sounds like “Shaw-baht”. Having an ending of “et” makes it a target for Frenchifying; so it becomes “SOR-BAY” for someone who knows no better.
    Likewise, poor old Roget (roj-it) who was an Englishman who wrote the first thesaurus (thes’ris) was not a Frenchman named Rozhay who wrote a Thes-Oh-rus.
    Luckily, while some are trying to Frenchify English, the world has officially adopted English as the standard language. While we are still talking in English, remember we don’t have a word ending in “et” which is pronounced as “ay”

  23. 10family says:

    THANK YOU, THANK YOU, THANK YOU. You have settled a long running argument in my household. although I was raised to call it sherbert, I questioned if that was correct or not because of the lack of a second r. so thank you, it turns out I am right. :)

  24. amy says:

    i always thought it was pronounced “sherbERT” well, i’m not changin

  25. Laura White says:

    I have never seen Turkey Hill Sherbet in our stores here in Hot Springs, Arkansas. Where can I find it?I would love to try it since sherbet is about all I eat. Please let me know.

  26. Jones says:

    Nope, sherbert is wrong. What happens is that so many mispronounce a word that eventually it becomes “somewhat” acceptable to mispronounce it. For example: recognize is NOT pronounced wreck-a-nize. The correct pronunciation is reh-cug-nize. The g is NOT silent!

  27. Tammie says:

    I grew up in TN where sherbet was pronounced sherbeRt, but as I got older I realized it was pronounced sherbet. I don’t care how you pronounce it or spell it, all I know is I LOVE IT! I eat about 1 to 1 1/2 cups of it EVERY night. I have a plan where I wait all day until around 8:00 when I sit down to watch tv.
    I recently had pneumonia and sherbet felt so good on my throat; so good in fact that I ate it several times a day and completely justified it because I was sick. Hmmmm, maybe I’ll be sick tomorrow and eat it twice!!!

  28. DCPete says:

    My wife insists on calling it “sherbert” when deep down she knows she’s wrong. People may be reluctant to chance to the correct pronounciation, but wrong is wrong… (You also appear less educated when you mispronounce words).

  29. [...] it turns out it’s pronounced sher-bit and it rhymes with [...]

  30. Dan luckey says:

    Big booty butts.

  31. Juniper says:

    worst collumn i ever read!:(

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