Frozen fruit juice and rose water. That is how the Arabs had their cold dessert. Special built snow pits allowed to produce sherbet even in summer.
Sherbet is a very cold drink rather than a spoonable dessert. And as such it lost its popularity. Too much concurrence from other soft drinks?
Frozen fruit juice
Granita is an evolution of sherbet. New techniques made it possible to mix liquids while freezing. Larger crystals are broken up and the final result is smooth.
Classic are lemon, mulberries and almond. Even though today there is a wide variety of frozen juices. Don’t forget to try it with a brioche. Breakfast of champions!
From sherbet to sorbet seems a logical step. There are though historians who bring the name back to the latin sobere. Sorbet is different in ingredients and density. Instead of juice, they use pulp. And less sugar. Slowly decreasing the temperature while stirring result in a fine texture.
This Italian invention become wildly popular in France under Louis XIV. The step to ice cream is small. A little milk and cream and ready you are.
Cremolata, frozen fruit
Cremolata consists mainly of fruit. It is roughly blended and then frozen. After adding water and sugar it is further broken down. Eventually it is smoother than granita.
Cremolata is creamier because it contains fruit pulp. Not juice. Though harder to find than granita and ice cream, we highly recommend it.
Frozen, the video
This Roman invention has spread all over Italy. A block of solid frozen ice is grated and seasoned. So straightforward, so interesting. It is somehow the opposite of adding ice to a drink. Adding a drink to ice. How on the rocks can one get?
Nowadays the crushed iced comes from a machine. No difference in taste, yet less romantic.