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Sherbet vs. Sorbet: What's the Difference?

Edited by Sawaira Riaz || By Sumera Saeed || Updated on October 19, 2023
Sherbet is a sweetened frozen dessert with fruit juice and dairy, while sorbet is a dairy-free frozen dessert made from sweetened fruit juice or purée.

Key Differences

Sherbet and sorbet are both delightful frozen desserts. While sherbet incorporates a small amount of dairy, sorbet remains dairy-free, made exclusively from fruit juices or purées, sugar, and water.
Sumera Saeed
Oct 19, 2023
The creaminess of sherbet comes from its dairy content, which is typically milk or cream. Sorbet, on the other hand, boasts a more icy texture, resulting solely from its blend of fruit and sugar.
Sumera Saeed
Oct 19, 2023
The ingredient list for sherbet often includes fruit juice, sugar, water, and a touch of dairy, giving it a lighter texture than ice cream but creamier than sorbet. Sorbet remains a simpler concoction, commonly made from fruit, sugar, and sometimes stabilizers or liqueurs for added flavor and texture.
Sumera Saeed
Oct 19, 2023
In culinary traditions, sherbet can serve as a palate cleanser between courses, but it's also enjoyed as a dessert in its own right. Sorbet, being more refreshing and lighter, often takes the stage as a palate cleanser in gourmet meals or a refreshing treat on a hot day.
Aimie Carlson
Oct 19, 2023

Comparison Chart

Dairy Content

Contains a small amount of dairy.
Dairy-free.
Sumera Saeed
Oct 19, 2023
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Texture

Creamier due to dairy content.
Icy and smooth.
Sumera Saeed
Oct 19, 2023

Main Ingredients

Fruit juice, sugar, water, dairy.
Fruit juice or purée, sugar, water.
Sumera Saeed
Oct 19, 2023

Purpose in Meals

Dessert or palate cleanser.
Often used as a palate cleanser.
Harlon Moss
Oct 19, 2023

Fat Content

Typically has a low fat content but more than sorbet.
Virtually fat-free.
Harlon Moss
Oct 19, 2023

Sherbet and Sorbet Definitions

Sherbet

A frozen dessert made with fruit juice and a touch of dairy.
Lemon sherbet is creamier than lemon sorbet due to its dairy content.
Sawaira Riaz
Oct 19, 2023
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Sorbet

A dairy-free frozen dessert made from fruit juice or purée.
Mango sorbet tastes like pure, frozen mango goodness.
Sara Rehman
Oct 19, 2023

Sherbet

Often used in American parlance for a fruity and creamy frozen treat.
Orange sherbet reminds me of my childhood summers.
Aimie Carlson
Oct 19, 2023

Sorbet

Can contain stabilizers or liqueurs for enhanced texture or flavor.
The champagne sorbet had a delicate effervescence to it.
Janet White
Oct 19, 2023

Sherbet

Lighter than ice cream but contains some milk or cream.
I prefer raspberry sherbet over ice cream because it's less heavy.
Sumera Saeed
Oct 19, 2023

Sorbet

Known for its smooth, icy texture.
The raspberry sorbet melted smoothly on my tongue.
Harlon Moss
Oct 19, 2023

Sherbet

Has a sweet-tart flavor profile.
The tanginess in the lime sherbet is so refreshing.
Sumera Saeed
Oct 19, 2023

Sorbet

Is fruit-forward and can be made from various fruits.
From berry to citrus, almost any fruit can be turned into a sorbet.
Sawaira Riaz
Oct 19, 2023

Sherbet

Contains a minimum of 1% and less than 2% milkfat.
Sherbet offers a middle ground between ice cream and sorbet in terms of creaminess.
Sumera Saeed
Oct 19, 2023

Sorbet

Often consumed as a refreshing treat or palate cleanser.
A lemon sorbet in between courses cleanses the palate beautifully.
Sara Rehman
Oct 19, 2023

Sherbet

Also sher·bert (-bûrt′) A frozen dessert made mainly of fruit juice or fruit purée, usually with sugar and milk or cream.
Sumera Saeed
Dec 02, 2016

Sorbet

A frozen dessert made primarily of fruit juice or fruit purée, sugar, and water.
Sumera Saeed
Dec 02, 2016

Sorbet

Frozen fruit juice, sometimes mixed with egg whites, eaten as dessert or between courses of a meal.
Sumera Saeed
Dec 02, 2016

Sorbet

A kind of beverage; sherbet.
Sumera Saeed
Dec 02, 2016

Sorbet

An ice containing milk
Sumera Saeed
Dec 02, 2016

FAQs

Why is sherbet creamier than sorbet?

Sherbet contains a small amount of dairy, which gives it a creamier texture compared to sorbet.
Sara Rehman
Oct 19, 2023

Does sorbet contain any dairy?

No, sorbet is a dairy-free dessert.
Sawaira Riaz
Oct 19, 2023

Can lactose-intolerant individuals eat sorbet?

Yes, since sorbet is dairy-free, it's suitable for those with lactose intolerance.
Sumera Saeed
Oct 19, 2023

Is sorbet vegan?

Generally, yes. Sorbet is made without animal products, making it vegan-friendly.
Aimie Carlson
Oct 19, 2023

Are there specific fruits best suited for sherbet?

Sherbet can be made from a range of fruits, but citrus fruits like orange, lemon, and lime are popular choices.
Harlon Moss
Oct 19, 2023

Which is more refreshing on a hot day, sherbet or sorbet?

Both are refreshing, but many find the dairy-free and icy nature of sorbet especially cooling.
Sumera Saeed
Oct 19, 2023

Which has more sugar, sherbet or sorbet?

Both can be quite sweet, but the sugar content varies by recipe. It's best to check individual product or recipe details.
Sumera Saeed
Oct 19, 2023

Can people with a dairy allergy eat sherbet?

It's best to avoid sherbet if you have a dairy allergy, as it contains some dairy.
Sumera Saeed
Oct 19, 2023

Is sherbet the same as ice cream?

No, sherbet contains less dairy than ice cream, making it lighter in texture.
Sumera Saeed
Oct 19, 2023

Do sherbet and sorbet come in non-fruit flavors?

While fruit flavors are most common, variations exist, especially in gourmet versions.
Aimie Carlson
Oct 19, 2023

Is sorbet the same as Italian ice?

They're similar, but Italian ice often has a grainier texture compared to the smoothness of sorbet.
Harlon Moss
Oct 19, 2023

How is the texture of sorbet achieved?

Sorbet's smooth, icy texture results from the combination of fruit, sugar, and sometimes stabilizers or liqueurs.
Sumera Saeed
Oct 19, 2023

Can sherbet be made without any dairy?

Without dairy, it would be closer to sorbet. The dairy gives sherbet its distinct creaminess.
Sumera Saeed
Oct 19, 2023

Is sherbet popular outside the U.S.?

The term "sherbet" and its definition vary by country. In the U.S., it refers to the creamy frozen dessert, but in other places, it might mean a fizzy powder or drink.
Sara Rehman
Oct 19, 2023

Does sherbet come in non-citrus flavors?

Yes, while citrus flavors are popular, sherbet can be made with various fruits.
Janet White
Oct 19, 2023

Is it easy to make sorbet at home?

Yes, with fruit, sugar, and a freezer, one can make a simple sorbet.
Aimie Carlson
Oct 19, 2023

What's the main difference between sherbet and sorbet?

The primary difference is the dairy content. Sherbet contains a small amount of dairy, while sorbet is dairy-free.
Sumera Saeed
Oct 19, 2023

How do you pronounce "sorbet"?

It's pronounced "sor-BAY."
Harlon Moss
Oct 19, 2023

Why might someone choose sherbet over ice cream?

Sherbet is lighter than ice cream and offers a fruitier and slightly tangy flavor profile, which some people prefer.
Sara Rehman
Oct 19, 2023

Are sherbet and sorbet used as palate cleansers?

While both can be used, sorbet is more commonly employed as a palate cleanser in gourmet meals.
Harlon Moss
Oct 19, 2023
About Author
Written by
Sumera Saeed
Sumera is an experienced content writer and editor with a niche in comparative analysis. At Diffeence Wiki, she crafts clear and unbiased comparisons to guide readers in making informed decisions. With a dedication to thorough research and quality, Sumera's work stands out in the digital realm. Off the clock, she enjoys reading and exploring diverse cultures.
Edited by
Sawaira Riaz
Sawaira is a dedicated content editor at difference.wiki, where she meticulously refines articles to ensure clarity and accuracy. With a keen eye for detail, she upholds the site's commitment to delivering insightful and precise content.

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