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When Do You Serve Sorbet?

By Soraia Martins August 23, 2021, 10:40 am

Sorbet is one of the most popular palate cleansers used during a dinner party, particularly if it encompasses multiple courses. This age-old delicatessen, often portrayed as perhaps the perfect summertime dessert or coffee ally in different parts of Italy, has made its way onto haute cuisine and can now coexist harmoniously within your exquisite, homemade dinner party meal.

But when do you serve sorbet? Keep reading to find out.

Sorbet  with dried strawberry on a white plate Source:

Kate Mclean at Unsplash

When Do You Serve Sorbet?

Lemon sorbet with a mint garnish Source:

bhofack2 at Canva

Depending on how many courses your meal has or the type of cuisine you choose to cook — for example, spicy foods may demand a different cleanser than grilled salmon — you can serve your sorbet before or after the main course, between the meat and the fish dish.

Anything we ingest stimulates our taste buds, and sometimes it can linger beyond what we expect and have a considerable effect on what we eat next. The fresh, crisp sorbet will also prepare your stomach and work on any greasy or pungent foods. Remember that the sorbet served mid-meal is not supposed to be sweet, so save that for dessert.

Flavors To Use

Peach sorbet with garnishes on a plate Source:

photosimysia at Unsplash

Serving sorbet as a palate cleanser during a dinner party can be seen as an elegant ritual, but there is more to it than meets the eye. Going with a neutral, sharp flavor might do wonders for your palate, leaving little or no aftertaste so you can enjoy the following dish without feeling overcome by the one before.

Lemon and mint are the most common sorbet flavors to serve as a palate cleanser, but other fruits and aromatic herbs are suitable to be used in sorbet recipes you can offer your guests during your dinner party.

The French Connection

lemon sorbet with garnishes in a martini glass Source:

alexsalcedo at Canva

Although French cuisine didn’t exactly invent sorbet, it certainly gave it the most unique and elegant task of the palate cleanser, which then became a unified concept in the multi-course meal world. Many upscale restaurants serve sorbet as a palate cleanser between the meat and the fish course, although other options can be used for this meal interlude, such as sparkling water and crackers.

Passed from generation to generation, sorbet as a palate cleanser is light and refreshing and serves the very intricate purpose of removing any lingering flavors from the mouth — think of a reset for your taste buds. The French and the Italian call it intermezzo, an intermission of sorts to settle the stomach and awaken your palate for the remaining dishes.


raspberry sorbet with a mint garnish Source:

Jinomono Media at Unsplash

Despite all the French cuisine references and traditions as far as sorbet is concerned and its further use as a palate cleanser in upscale restaurants around the world, it is undeniable that going for sorbet as a palate cleanser can take your dinner party to a whole other level.

Try experimenting with different recipes with citrus fruits, like lemon, lime, orange, and tangerine, or other fruits like watermelon, melon, mango, or apple. The choice range is definitely extensive, and it will eventually fall upon your own discernment and the type of food you are serving to your guests. Just keep it simple and fresh.

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