French for "sherbet," which Italians call sorbetto. Sorbet is sometimes distinguished from sherbet by the fact that it never contains milk. It's also often a softer consistency than sherbet. Savory or lightly sweetened sorbets are often served either as a palate refresher between courses or as dessert. They're sometimes also called ices or granitas, though both of these mixtures are generally more granular in texture than a sorbet.
From The Food Lover's Companion, Fourth edition by Sharon Tyler Herbst and Ron Herbst. Copyright © 2007, 2001, 1995, 1990 by Barron's Educational Series, Inc.