Date: Tue, 25 Jul 1995 18:56:45 -0400 From: Margaret Ronkin Subject: Re: sherbe(r)t I haven't been following the details of this discussion, so please excuse me if I'm repeating something here. But, according to The Random House College Dictionary, which is what I've got handy, sherbet, on the one hand (North American?), contains milk, egg white, OR gelatin; on the other hand (British; maybe colonial backflow), it refers to a "drink made of sweetened fruit juice diluted with water and ice". But the NY distinction that Vicki refers to is also what I grew up (all over the globe) with at home; my parents are both native Californians. My knowledge of Arabic is limited to loan words in modern Indo-Aryan and Iranian languages, and enough insecurity/curiosity to check things out in the OED. But sharba (with an aspirated final vowel), I believe, derives from the infinitive shariba (to drink); syrup and its kin ultimately derive, of course, from sharab (wine and other drinks/beverages, and one of the Muslim world's big time poetic metaphors). Nowadays, to make the wonderful sherbet (Turkish and Persian = sherbet) that Peter writes about, one buys bottles of thick and very, very heavily sweetened syrup (on display at every convenience store and chemists'), pours a bit into a tall glass, and adds cold water and ice. There's nothing to beat this in 100+ degree heat; I recommend buying the mango flavo(u)r and boiling the water. Maggie On Tue, 25 Jul 1995, Peter L. Patrick wrote: > Vicki, > I don't believe your recollection of sherbet w/milk is correct. > Neither sherbet nor sorbet (nor sherbert), classically, should have > any milk products in them. The distinction you're thinking of may be ice > milk vs. ice cream, latter having more milkfat. This was never systematic > and was recently abolished by the FDA in favor of the more specific > (though still somewhat subjective) system of "ice cream", "reduced ice > cream", "low-fat ice cream", and "fat-free icecream", respectively > having less and less milkfat. Sherbet, however you spell it, never had > any, as far as I'm aware, but used gelatin for body. > That's the US marketing tradition. But in the Arabic > tradition, it wasn't even frozen-- just a cool drink of fruit juice > and water and sugar (Arabic "sharbah" is the root, related to our > 'syrup'). People in Vikram Seth's 'A Suitable Boy' are always drinking > sherbet, for example. > Then again, I won't be responsible for what some company has > put into a box and called "sherbe(r)t"! > --peter patrick >