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Bill Spohn

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Request for Sugarless Sorbets

by Bill Spohn » Sat May 11, 2019 5:05 pm

I am a big fan of using sorbets as palate cleansers between courses in a wine dinner. Unfortunately, most restaurants don't get it - they serve you a sweet sorbet right before you dig into the best wines of the evening, making it impossible to properly assess the wines. I've even seen this at restaurants that should know better.

Although I am not a fan of sweet desserts, the basis for that preference is due to the lingering effect that sugary foods have on your ability to taste - the old 'buy on apples, sell on cheese' saying (or 'buy on bread, sell on cheese') from the wine trade, where acidic foods reveal shortcomings in a wine while cheese or sweet flavours tend to mask them.

Does anyone have a non-sweet sorbet recipe? I realize that without any sugar content the end result will be more like a granita as the ice crystals will be bigger, but that is no issue. I have also found that sugar substitutes often give a less cloying impression than sugar even though they are often many times as sweet per weight as sugar, so I don't have any objection in principal to the addition of a bit of (for example) Stevia, to blunt the edge of an acidic sorbet.

I have made sorbets as palate cleansers using Earl Gray tea, basil, and such but wondered if anyone had alternatives up their sleeves.....
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Jim Cassidy

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Re: Request for Sugarless Sorbets

by Jim Cassidy » Sat May 11, 2019 9:56 pm

No recipe, but my all-time favorite palate cleanser, which I guessed was made from a lemon-like citrus, was an elderberry flower sorbet. You may be able to find local elderberry flowers. If not, the internet is selling elderberry flower syrup.
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Bill Spohn

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Re: Request for Sugarless Sorbets

by Bill Spohn » Sat May 11, 2019 10:04 pm

Jim Cassidy wrote:You may be able to find local elderberry flowers. If not, the internet is selling elderberry flower syrup.


But that would be excluded on the basis of the requirement not to result in a sweet sorbet that clashes with/affects the wines. They tend to be cordials (i.e. quite sweet)
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Jeff Grossman

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Re: Request for Sugarless Sorbets

by Jeff Grossman » Sun May 12, 2019 1:34 am

I don't serve that way so I have no recipes handy but two ideas come to mind:
1. Make a granita of Beaujolais, that should interfere relatively little.
2. Swipe ideas from the catalog of amuse bouches. For example, in a restaurant in the Northern Rhone I was served a shot-glass of puree de courgette topped with a little tomato confit and a shred of smoked salmon. It was dazzling, though you might omit the smoky fish for your purpose.
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Jenise

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Re: Request for Sugarless Sorbets

by Jenise » Sun May 12, 2019 12:34 pm

Bill, Les once made the best non-sweet sorbet I've ever had, and cucumber was the base. Celery might have been involved too. He brought it to that dinner we went to at Ken Cross' house one time while Barb was away, I made the pea salad with whole lobster tail.
My wine shopping and I have never had a problem. Just a perpetual race between the bankruptcy court and Hell.--Rogov
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Bill Spohn

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Re: Request for Sugarless Sorbets

by Bill Spohn » Sun May 12, 2019 12:43 pm

Thanks - will follow up. Sounds like just what I was looking for.

PS - am working up ideas for the next terrine event.- salmon en croute dish.
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Re: Request for Sugarless Sorbets

by Jenise » Sun May 12, 2019 5:17 pm

Bill, we haven't set a date for the terrine dinner yet, have we?
My wine shopping and I have never had a problem. Just a perpetual race between the bankruptcy court and Hell.--Rogov
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Bill Spohn

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Re: Request for Sugarless Sorbets

by Bill Spohn » Sun May 12, 2019 5:22 pm

Jenise wrote:Bill, we haven't set a date for the terrine dinner yet, have we?


No, but August 3rd would be what we always do.
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Re: Request for Sugarless Sorbets

by Jenise » Mon May 13, 2019 4:16 pm

I realize, and in fact have already turned down two other events for that weekend to keep it free. Maybe it's time to put the word out?
My wine shopping and I have never had a problem. Just a perpetual race between the bankruptcy court and Hell.--Rogov
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Bill Spohn

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Re: Request for Sugarless Sorbets

by Bill Spohn » Mon May 13, 2019 4:30 pm

Done!
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Re: Request for Sugarless Sorbets

by Jenise » Mon May 13, 2019 4:35 pm

Excellent, thanks.
My wine shopping and I have never had a problem. Just a perpetual race between the bankruptcy court and Hell.--Rogov
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Re: Request for Sugarless Sorbets

by Jenise » Sun May 19, 2019 10:45 am

So Les' wasn't sugarless after all. I just remember how fresh it was, it didn't come off as sweet, more like an icy salad.
My wine shopping and I have never had a problem. Just a perpetual race between the bankruptcy court and Hell.--Rogov

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