The Sherbet Fountain is not a fountain at all, nor is it sherbet as we know it.
We all know what sherbet is, right? Here in the States, it’s often cheesy cheap ice cream sold in one-gallon plastic tubs in supermarkets, featuring a range of dishearteningly artificial pastel colors in a single tub. The fat content is low, and one of its euphemistic names is “ice milk,” as opposed to “ice cream.”
How the hell do you eat this thing?
The Food Lover’s Companion provides a more formal definition: “Today the term sherbet commonly refers to a frozen mixture of sweetened fruit juice (or other liquid such as wine) and water. It can also contain milk, egg whites and/or gelatin.”
But Fork in the Road recently stumbled on another type of sherbet that our childhoods as ice cream enthusiasts never prepared us for: the so-called sherbet fountain. The product is manufactured by England’s Tangerine Confectionery, in the sinister-sounding Blackpool, U.K., under the Barratt brand.
The product consists of a powder in a cardboard-and-plastic cylinder with a nippled black top. The powder is sweet and sour at the same time, like crushed-up Sweet Tarts, and the texture is so fine and the color so white, it might be mistaken for cocaine.
Like similar dipping candies in the U.S., a wand is provided that picks up the powder and transports it to your mouth. As the wand becomes moist with spittle, it picks up increasingly more powder. Oddly, the wand is made of licorice, which makes for a strange flavor combo with the citrusy powder, at least by American standards.
So the question remains, Why is this strange candy called “sherbet”? And why is it also designated “fountain”? Hopefully, some knowledgeable Brit reader will have the answers.
Next: Another potential method of consuming the Sherbet Fountain.
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