Product Review Special: Sorbet

At LoE World Headquarters, we know that sorbet is the quintessential summertime treat. It’s light, refreshing, relatively low in calories, and an excellent way to get fruit and ice cream in one go. I personally love sorbet almost as much as I love ice cream, and I often choose sorbets in ice-cream shops. I occasionally will make a sorbet, but most of the sorbet we eat is purchased at a supermarket. I usually buy either lemon or raspberry, because I’m not allergic to them and I find them refreshing.

Haagen-Dasz sorbets are available almost everywhere, which has to be a big plus. I’ve even seen them at my local CVS! The lemon is one of the better lemon sorbets out there, with plenty of flavor from the zest and a decent texture. The raspberry is a sort of default raspberry, nothing to get excited about but not bad either. They both have a superior texture when left on the counter to ripen for a few minutes before digging in.

Baskin-Robbins sells an odd “Daiquiri Ice” flavor that I find myself eating even though it’s about as authentically flavored as Fun Dip. It does have a vaguely tart, lime-y flavor that’s nearly overwhelmed by an artificial rum extract of some sort. It’s the only non-dairy frozen confection regularly available at my local Baskin Robbins shop, so I find myself eating it every so often, but this treat is decidedly not recommended.

Sharon’s Sorbet is my current in-house favorite. It’s super-cheap (well, as sorbet goes) if you can find it at Costco, where it comes in a 4-pack (2 raspberry, 2 lemon). The raspberry has such a creamy texture you’ll swear there’s heavy cream in there, while the lemon is bright and sweet and melts much like real ice cream would in the mouth. Very worthwhile sorbets worth seeking out.

Cold Stone Creamery sells a gummy, oversweet raspberry sorbet. I usually choose this if at a Cold Stone on an ice-cream run, and order it swirled with chocolate chips. Maggie Moos has a similar product. Neither is worth a detour, but if you’re with the gang at either chain and you want to avoid a huge chocolate-frosted sugar bomb of a dessert, I regard them as a more acceptable choice than a sugar-free ice cream confection.

Natural Choice Organic, available in some health food stores, is everything I dislike in a sorbet. Specifically, it freezes like an ice cube, and it doesn’t taste like much. They are the only company making a blueberry sorbet that I can regularly locate around here, and I keep trying it hoping they’ll do something about the texture, but it’s always the same. It is inexpensive compared to some of the other sorbets out there, but it’s not worth it.

Ben and Jerrys sorbets are usually decent, but I’m still annoyed they discontinued the Lemon Swirl sorbet which was the stuff of my dreams once upon a time. (They had a lemonade type sorbet last year, but it was a disappointment compared to my memory of Lemon Swirl.) They also used to make a Doonesbury sorbet–a swirl of blueberry and raspberry–that was out-of-this-world. With the current lineup, I’d eat the sorbets in a scoop shop, but I’m not inclined to buy a pint of any of the bunch.

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