Second Scoop: How do you pronounce “sherbet”?

Posted by Turkey Hill Team on December 10th, 2012

The other day we realized that lost in all of our Ice Cream Journal blogging efforts was an often overlooked and under appreciated 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 things 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, 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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8 Responses to “Second Scoop: How do you pronounce “sherbet”?”

  1. leecarr says:

    I cannot believe it, I really agree with the experts, “sher-bit” (sounds like “hermit”) and tastes delicious

  2. Donna Joyce says:

    Sher-bit is just fine with me — No matter how it’s pronounced here in the U.S., I love it!!

  3. Norma says:

    Sherbit is better than Sherbay, as in Tarjay.

  4. CHRISTINE says:


  5. Marion says:

    It is pronounced just as it is spelled–sherbet! Don’t know why some people make it so difficult!

  6. Karen says:

    Although I like sherbert (and yes my whole life I’ve pronounced it wrong) given the option of ice cream vs. sherbert ice cream wins out every time.

  7. Regina says:

    It’s sherbet to me as in “bet” but there’s no gamble if it’s Turkey Hill.

  8. Jim in SOMD says:

    I have always called it sher-bit, but I was under the impression that it was closer to water ice than ice cream. From the explanation, it obviously a close cousin to ice cream.

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