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I didn't realise until recently that the USA defines sherbet as a sorbet with dairy products. In the UK it's a fizzy power used in sweets (candy).
I would guess that it must exist under a different name in the USA, but if not, then here are a couple of super simple recipes to bang some together to try for yourself.
Normal version:-
1 teaspoon of bicarbonate of soda (sodium bicarbonate).
1 teaspoon of citric acid.
3 teaspoons of icing/confectioners sugar. (Very fine sugar with 3% corn starch.)
Extra sour version:-
1 teaspoon of bicarbonate of soda.
2 teaspoons of citric acid.
3 spoons of icing sugar. (UK name for confectioners sugar.)
For both recipes, just mix the powders together thoroughly and it's done.
A blender or grinder could be used to create a much finer mix.
The sherbet powder can be used as a dip for licorice or lollipops, or you can add two heaped spoons to a glass of cold water and mix for an instant fizzy drink.
The ingredients of the Barratt Sherbet Fountain (including the licorice) are listed as:-
Sugar, treacle, wheat flour, cornflour, sodium bicarbonate, citric acid, tartaric acid, colour (caramel), liquorice extract, tri-calcium phosphate (anti-caking agent), aniseed oil.
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It's time for a cultural candy clash, you see, we have a suite in the uk called sherbet powder, and this is a sherbet fountain. It's one of the many items that you get with sherbet in it and i didn't realize that america has a completely different definition of sure. But you see in america, sherbet is basically sorbet, but with milk, so it's water, milk, sugar and various flavorings frozen and turned into a granular sort of dessert a frozen iced dessert. Here it's nothing like that.

Sherbet is a powder. Let me open this and show you now the packaging this has changed from what it used to be here. Is the white powder spilling out in a very suspicious way? Oh, no! That's that's looking very suspicious! Oh it's going everywhere, but in this tube is a plastic tube. Now is a piece of licorice and this powder.

The powder is a mixture of sugar with agents to stop it, clumping and drying, uh and well clumping and basically absorbing martian air, because it also contains bicarbonate of soda and citric acid and possibly tartaric acid too, and when i taste it, it's super sweet and fizzy. Very fine and sweet: it's very refined powder. Now this isn't how these used to be sold. It used to be a cardboard tube and it used to have this a cardboard sleeve, with the outer, yellow, wrapper and just twisted, and the licorice used to just stick out the tops.

You could actually go into a shop and touch people's licorice. I'm not sure. That's a good thing, but they've changed that this is a new all plastic, ecologically disastrous hygienic version. Now, in the past, the licorice used to be hollow inside, not sure if it still is um, it is not hollow in the side.

That's a shame because you used to be able to suck the sherbet through the licorice, but not any longer. But the idea is you lick your licorice and then you dip it in and the moisture makes it all stick around and then you can stuff it in your garb and then eat lots of sugar with a sugary. Stick, that's good! You also get the sherbet dip dab, which is a lollipop that you also dip in the sugar. So it's basically sugar dipped in sugar all the way here, but this is good.

However, i'm guessing, you must have an equivalent of this fizzy powder in america. If you don't, then here's some recipes for you. I shall put the ingredients off this, incidentally, on in the description down below, so you can look at what's in these i'll. Do the recipes one's called one two three and one is called one one three.

They basically involve getting a teaspoon of citric acid, which is a very super sour dry, fruit, acid, a teaspoon of uh, bicarbonate soda and then in both these recipes. It's three teaspoons of icing sugar. The icing sugar is about 90 97 sugar and three percent corn starch or corn flour to stop it caking, and in this version there is a one scoop of a carbonated soda, two scoops of uh citric acid, making a very sour one and the three scoops of Sugar in this version it's a much less sour version. It's one scoop of carbonated soda, one scoop of citric acid and three scoops of the icing sugar just mix it together and uh.

Let's compare it so i'm going to taste this one, then i'm going to taste the simple, safe one: that's not too acidic very similar to that, and then this is a super acidic one with extra citric acid, oh and it's very acidic, which is not too bad. That's hard choosing between the two of them, but it's something you can decide yourself if you play about this, so all you need is to make this power drop, get lollipop things up, and it's just very simply a dipping candy powder. Let me just keep dipping i'm going to do a comparison again, but the recipes are down below another thing you can do. You can get a glass of water and put two teaspoons of this powder into that glass of water and mix it up, and it will basically turn it into a sweet, fizzy drink.

I used to do that occasionally with the sherbet fountains and, to be honest, it wasn't as good as just eating it direct. It was always a bit disappointing. I'd wasted my shirt, fountain making a drink, but it had to be done only thing. I did it a couple of times right, okay, but that's it.

The cultural difference between the uk and the usa for sweets versus candy. Our sherbet is a powder. Yours is ice.

12 thoughts on “Sherbet is completely different in the uk and usa”
  1. Avataaar/Circle Created with python_avatars Spehro Pefhany says:

    I don't think I've ever seen a powder dip candy in Canada. Flavor sounds similar to Sweet Tarts which are probably a similar sweet+sour powder compressed into tablet form (like "Rockets" in Canada, aka Smarties in the US, but much stronger flavor). There is apparently something called Fun Dip (nee Lik-M-Aid) but I've never noticed it. Fun fact- the Rocket tablets were made using WWI surplus gunpowder pellet mills.

  2. Avataaar/Circle Created with python_avatars Jo Freddie says:

    When I was a child, my parents used to get The Observer on a Sunday, the colour supplement had strip called “The Rudiments Of Wisdom" by Tim Hunkin.
    One of the strips had the following for Sherbet:
    100g Citric acid
    30g Bicarb of Soda
    200g icing sugar

  3. Avataaar/Circle Created with python_avatars IANF126 says:

    Fun Dip is similarish. you get a white sugary stick and a few colors of powder. It is not fizzy though as others have mentioned. we do have Pop Rocks which are cool little carbonated crystals and there's bottle caps which kinda have a little fizz to them, but they are supposed to be soda flavored candy.

    Another difference between foods is smarties. In the US smarties are little candy tabs, not too unlike pez, that come wrapped in a small roll. In europe they're basically M&M things with a big of flavor that m&m's don't normally have. I really enjoyed trying them when i was in europe.

  4. Avataaar/Circle Created with python_avatars Dennis says:

    In my 40 years or so eating Sherbet fountain's I cannot remember any ever having a hollow liquorish stick. I'm sure there was another brand in a paper pouch (like a dib dąb only thinner) that did use a hollow straw liquorish stick.

  5. Avataaar/Circle Created with python_avatars Carl Lind says:

    I live in usa close to canada. Bicarbonate is either baking soda or baking powder; I am not sure which. Our sugar is called powdered sugar and we use citric acid to clean our coffee pots.

  6. Avataaar/Circle Created with python_avatars savagemadman says:

    Here in Canada I also think of Sherbet as an iced milk type desert, it's like a cheaper and lighter alternative to ice cream or gelato. I think it's mostly served as part of a meal rather than something standalone.

    Back when I was a kid in the 80s-90s I remember some sort of fizzy powder stuff in a paper sachet with a small wooden stick to eat it with. I wasn't really into anything other than chocolate or liquorice so I never paid much attention and have no idea what it was called.

  7. Avataaar/Circle Created with python_avatars mytube001 says:

    I've always taken "sherbet" to be a corruption of "sorbet", and meaning the same thing: non-dairy ice cream with fruits and/or berries for flavoring. Very surprised to find that "sherbet" has dairy in it! So, essentially plain old ice cream.

  8. Avataaar/Circle Created with python_avatars Electra Flarefire says:

    And 'Sherbet straws' are still a thing in Oz. A plastic straw sealed at both ends with rainbow coloured Sherbet powerd in the middle.
    Showed up in a recent episode of Bluey(Kid's TV show that is pure Australia) and had the kids enjoying it.

  9. Avataaar/Circle Created with python_avatars Phonotical says:

    I remember it used to be just a paper packaging and as a child I had no idea you're supposed to keep dipping it in, I always wondered where the fountain part came from, fucking disappointing

  10. Avataaar/Circle Created with python_avatars Mark Eightv29 says:

    I loved the old style UK sherbet fountains as a kid. I then bought one 10 years ago and it seemed to be 99% sugar with very little sherbet (acid). Too sweet for my taste. It and/or I had changed.

  11. Avataaar/Circle Created with python_avatars Peter Firside says:

    I'm sure you've been told a million times before, God damn …..your accent is just about the most relaxing thing I have ever heard. Please do voice over work in America. You would be a star overnight. Fantastic

  12. Avataaar/Circle Created with python_avatars Hazel B says:

    Like you i remember the original sherbert fountains,,,,and sherbert Dip Dabs …lol….also remember in the late 70's Space Dust too….you put it on your tongue and it crackled and dissolved….sadly they now call that Popping Candy…another Americanism….lol ….i don't comment much but always watch…Happy New Year Clive x

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