If you’re looking for a frozen dessert that’s dairy-free or vegan or simply just straight-up delicious, then look no further than a chilly scoop or two of sorbet. Packed full of fruit and just the right amount of sugar, this sweet and tart icy treat has a long and interesting history. It’s claimed that the underlying idea started in China 3,000 years ago and was inspired by the combination of beer, fruit, and snow. The trend made its way to the Middle East over time, lost the beer component, and became popular across the Mediterranean. Over time, sorbet became a palate cleanser to prepare you for the next course in a major feast. In the 1600s, it evolved into the coup de grâce at the end of a hearty meal at French cafes.
I say “sorbet”, you say “sorbetto” — but there’s no need to call the whole thing off. There isn’t a difference between the two words other than linguistic preferences, with “sorbet” being the accepted term in French and English, and “sorbetto” when in Italy. So, don’t be flummoxed if you see one or the other in the freezer aisle — you’re getting the same results with either purchase. From fruity flavors to those with chocolate and coffee, here are some of the best sorbets you can buy at the store.
- Private Selection
The Kroger grocery franchise launched in 1883 in Cincinnati in one humble location run by Barney Kroger. It has since expanded into a nationwide empire of 2,800 grocery stores that operate under a multitude of names, depending on the particular region, and has its own store brand of products — Private Selection. While among the other appealing pints in the freezer aisle, it doesn’t carry quite as much cachet or sell itself with a flashy label, but Private Selection gets the job done at a fraction of the cost — especially if you have a rewards card.
Available flavors and prices will inevitably vary from store to store, but given Kroger’s large reach of the market, the Private Selection has ample options to seek out when it comes to sorbet. There’s the requisite mango, lemon, and raspberry, of course. The brand also serves up a sweet strawberry sorbet that you can enjoy year-round, even when the fruit isn’t in season. But, our personal preference is black cherry, not only because it’s particularly tasty but also because there aren’t many cherry-infused sorbets that you’ll find in your local store — so if you see it, scoop it up.
Dove Chocolate began in 1939 with a popular ice cream parlor in the South Side of Chicago, and 1956 marked the company’s initial embrace of the ice cream bar concept. Thus begat the Dovebar, and the rest is history. In 1977, control of the company changed hands to the next generation. It was then that the company’s laser focus was steered towards branding itself on selling ice cream bars on a stick and nationwide expansion exploded in the 1980s.
If you’re on a vegan diet, the Dovebar should be avoided due to its chocolate component. But if you are open to dairy, Dove Chocolate offers a decadent raspberry sorbet dressed in an appropriately thick coat of dark chocolate that delivers a delightful, crispy crunch when you take a bite. The raspberry flavors in the sorbet pack a tart punch that is well mitigated by the soothing cocoa notes. Being a Dovebar, it’s also conveniently served on a stick to save you a lot of time and effort in both prep and clean-up.
- Open Nature
The Open Nature line of sorbets is impressively expansive for a store-brand product. With many flavors on offer, you can find Open Nature sorbet at Safeway locations near the Pacific, Albertson’s grocers around the Great Plains, Shaw’s in the Northeast, and Carrs if you’re in the Mid-Atlantic region.
What does Open Nature serve up in terms of sorbet? The better question is what doesn’t it have? We’re talking mango, lemon, and peach for starters. Open Nature drops a very generous sampling of berry fruits when it comes to its sorbet line serving up pints of strawberry, raspberry, blueberry, and açaí berry.
And then there’s what we’re truly passionate about, and that’s Open Nature’s passion fruit sorbet. With a foundation of a passion fruit concentrate, the natural cloying sweetness of the South American delight is very well counterbalanced by a spike of puckering lemon juice. And we’re pleased that the end result is not a diluted, watery situation. Given the addition of guar bean gum and locust bean gum, it’s quite reminiscent of the thick, luscious texture that we associate with dairy-filled ice cream.
Häagen-Dazs is a household name when it comes to higher-tier grocery store ice cream. Reuben and Rose Mattus, an immigrant couple from Poland, launched the brand in the New York borough of the Bronx in 1960. There was no particular inspiration or message behind the name other than it sounded catchy. According to the late founder Reuben Mattus in an interview with Tablet, “Häagen-Dazs doesn’t mean anything. [But] it would attract attention, especially with the umlaut.” Don Draper and all his Midtown “Mad Men” colleagues would have been proud to advertise for them.
But, beyond its luscious ice cream selections, did you know that Häagen-Dazs also offers up 16-ounce pints of dairy-free sorbet? The two regulars from the brand are the requisite sanguinely tart raspberry — highly revered on Amazon — and a more syrupy mango flavor if your sweet tooth is nagging at you.
- Halo Top
Halo Top Creamery
The Halo Top brand puts its sorbet focus on providing real fruit, all-natural flavors, and taking pride in being a health-conscious dessert option. It contains over 50% less sugar across its sorbet line-up than many of its competitors in the market. It’s also lower in calories with a range of between 260 and 310 calories per pint.
While Halo Top offers the expected mango and raspberry sorbet offerings, it goes a step further to provide a tantalizing strawberry flavor, which we would strongly argue should be a more common option for consumers of the frozen treat. But whether you go tropical or berry, any of the flavors from Halo Top make for a refreshing icy snack on a blisteringly hot day — or any day, really. If you want to make sorbet just a touch boozy, consider adding a splash of Grand Marnier and a garnish of mint to top it off.
The name of the game with the Sambozan brand is the mighty açaí berry. It offers an extensive line of tasty treats that feature the superfood, and with conscious efforts to promote fair trade, provides certified organic produce, all with careful consideration of the delicate rainforest ecosystem of the Amazon and in support of the local farmers.
Featuring a puree of açaí first and foremost, this sorbet provides a sweet counter punch to the notorious tartness of the berry with a smack of pure cane sugar. Sambazon’s sorbet is equally good as a palate-cleansing dessert as it is a simple mid-day snack. You should also consider having it around in the freezer to boost your morning smoothie with a scoop or two.
While Sambazon’s lengthy line of açaí products is available at many locations including Costco, Safeway, Publix, Kroger, and Albertsons, its açaí berry sorbet is unfortunately not available everywhere, but it is reliably found at Whole Foods Market. You can also order a shipment of this frozen Amazonian treat, somewhat ironically, from Amazon.
- The Frozen Farmer
The Frozen Farmer
As seen on ABC’s hit show “Shark Tank”, where Lori Greiner raised her hand to invest in the company, The Frozen Farmer is committed to serving up scoops of sorbet without dairy (par for the course with sorbet), but also without gluten and fat. Notably, it also has no added sugar and is under 100 calories per pint across its flavors. Setting itself apart from the competition, the baseline source ingredients are straight from the family farm — hence the name — and delectably sweet on their own merits.
The produce comes from a third-generation farming family that is currently female-owned and operated. What’s more, is that — metaphorically speaking — it’s making lemonade out of lemons. “More than 20% of the fruits and veggies in America are too ugly to make it off the farm,” the company claims. Rather than let their hard efforts go to waste, The Frozen Farmer used their slightly imperfect fruits — only visually speaking — to make stellar sorbet.
Beyond supporting the company’s general mission and not letting food go to waste, we love that they offer up so many interesting flavors for sorbet beyond the standards. That would include peach, honeydew melon, watermelon, and a beautiful marriage between strawberries and lemons.
- Jolly Llama
If you’re looking for the perfect on-the-go sorbet, Jolly Llama has your back. No need to scoop it up or deal with washing bowls and spoons if you come across Jolly Llama’s sorbet pops. With an icy cold cooler and a pack of these tasty ice pops, you’ll be the hero of the picnic, tailgate party, camping trip, or any outdoor excursion.
For those out there who love similar products like Popsicle Pop-Ups and Otter Pops, Jolly Llama provides the same squeezy, tactile joy but without all of the high fructose corn syrup and artificial flavors. Made with cane sugar, and free of gluten, soy, and dairy, it’s a sweet that will delight everyone. The company also provides a bevy of flavors, including mango, raspberry, and strawberry. We recommend their blackberry pop since it’s not the most common flavor among grocery store sorbets. Whatever you choose, given the utensil-free delivery system, we might advise against wearing a white shirt while you’re taking in one of these treats.
- Island Way Sorbet
Island Way Sorbet
If you’re planning a get-together and putting a lot of effort into the apps and entrees and find yourself a bit fatigued when it comes to the dessert portion of the meal, grab your wallet and pull out your Costco card. Island Way sorbet is one of the easiest feast finishers you’ll ever serve to your friends and family. Not only does it bring bright and fruity flavors, but the brand also has you covered with plating by providing its sorbet that’s packaged in an actual fruit shell to add a healthy touch of whimsy. If you’re not a Costco member, order online, choose from a modest-sized family pack or a giant party pack depending on the size of your gathering, and your cool dessert will arrive in dry ice within a matter of days.
There’s a common theme involved with all three of Island Way’s offerings – the zesty lemon (served in half of a sizeable lemon), mandarin orange (encased in a bright golden rind), or Ruby berry (scooped into a bowl made of grapefruit). Are you picking up on the citrus vibes yet? While the lemon and orange flavors are delivering a straightforward sorbet rendition, the Ruby Berry packs in a dose of strawberry to add a little bit of sweetness. And for the mandarin orange fans out there, this is the perfect way to enjoy the fruit when it’s a bit out of season.
- Jeni’s Splendid Ice Creams
Jeni’s Splendid Ice Creams
Beyond its sought-after line-up of ice creams, Jeni’s Splendid serves up pints of stellar and inspired sorbets that you can find in your local Whole Foods. Starting in 2002, the notable OSU Buckeye graduate Jeni Britton Bauer began her eponymous brand by applying her higher education in art history and fine arts towards the culinary world and started to craft inspired frozen delights of ice cream and sorbets. The company is also geared towards using direct trade ingredients.
Britton Bauer’s efforts in the icy arts earned a James Beard Award, and for good reason. Jeni’s Splendid conjures up unexpected and enticing recipes to serve up playful riffs on sorbet to the hungry masses. Jeni’s Splendid offers up frosé sorbet that is particularly recommended for a festive 21+ up party considering that it does contain a touch of wine. It also takes inspiration from sangria and has a boatload of fruity elements including pears, strawberries, watermelon, and lemons. For a caffeine jolt, try Jeni’s dairy-free cold brew sorbet, which invokes coconut cream for sweetness.
Talenti gelato e sorbetto
If we’re going on flavors alone, Talenti’s line of Italian-inspired sorbettos would likely take the crown in a blind taste test. But, the brand also get bonus points for the clean, no fuss, minimalist, transparent packaging that not only shows you the delectable contents of your purchase but is also recyclable and reusable.
The launch of the Talenti brand was spurred by founder Josh Hochschuler, a Boston University graduate who fell in love with Old World style gelato while working and residing in Argentina (ironically a New World country), and then brought this passion back to the United States. But appropriately, whether it’s dairy-free sorbetto or a creamy gelato, Talenti prides itself on sourcing ingredients that span the planet. In fact, there are 97 raspberries in every pint of the brand’s raspberry sorbetto
Talenti also serves up appetizing pints of Alphonso Mango Sorbetto comprised of mangoes from Maharashtra, as well as a cold brew sorbetto boosted with fair-trade beans from South America. But our personal favorite might have to be its dark chocolate sorbetto made with real cocoa. Going without milk when it comes to chocolate is a tough flex, and Talenti gets more than a few brownie points for pulling off this exceptional feat.
Read More: https://www.thedailymeal.com/1205477/best-grocery-store-sorbets-ranked/