Bonjour! The word "sorbet" is French for "sherbet". Parlais vous Francais?
Sorbet is simply fruited ice made from the syrup of fruit. Sorbet is served between courses, usually between the entree and dessert. The purpose of sorbet is to cleanse the palette. Who wants to eat ice cream after having eaten salmon?
Sorbet can also be served between a fish and a meat course, or simply for a light dessert.
When served on a plate with salad, fruit or the meat course, sorbet is eaten with a fork. If served in a bowl between courses or as a dessert, sorbet is eaten with a spoon. When sherbet or "sorbet" is part of the baked Alaska dessert, or other cake or pie, it is eaten with a dessert fork and dessert spoon.
No matter how you eat sorbet, just be sure to eat it in small bites or you will give yourself "brain freeze" as the Anne Hathaway character did in the popular movie "The Princess Diaries."
The sorbet course may be served in a cup, small bowl, or footed dish. The Victorians even had a designated piece of stemware named for the sorbet course. The "Sherbet Dish." This fancy crystal footed Sherbet Dish also may have its own matching plate, and is served with a small demi-tasse sized spoon.
So, enjoy the warm summer and treat yourself to a cool, simple dessert of "Sorbet."