Sorbet, 2000 years’ handmade ice cream

Sorbet, forerunner to handmade ice cream, an Italian product with a history whose roots lie in ancient Sicily. It’s Pliny the Elder whose “Historia naturalis” mentions the “dulcis nix”, a cold delicacy made with Etna snow mixed with honey and fruit juice. The same tract refers to fervid trade in ice also from Mount Terminillo and Vesuvius and its spread by Thermopolia streets, ice cream carts for then. A hand made dish whose traces were lost in the Middle Ages, in Europe, but not in the gaudy East as well.

Those returning from the Crusades brought back to Europe sorbet, which in Trinacria kept the arabian recipe (from “scherbet” the name “sorbetto”), as a base of the growing fame of ice cream and the delicious Italian sorbet.

After its success in Southern Italy came Buontalenti (offering Florentine cream and to the Duke of Tuscany’s Spanish guests) and Ruggeri, who repurposed it in a contest as “cold sweet”, associating hand made sorbet with ice cream in the tradition of the Italian patisserie, which then exploded worldwide thanks to work by Sicilian ice cream masters.

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