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OTTOMAN SHERBET

In summary, sherbet is a beverage made from various fruits and spices.

The word sherbet comes from the Arabic word shariba, meaning to drink.

Fruits and spices are passed through a fine strainer or cheesecloth. The resulting juice is mixed with some sugar water and boiled. The foams formed on the upper layer during boiling are removed. The last mixture is passed through cheesecloth again, filtered and cooled.

To obtain a darker syrup, the juice of the fruit is boiled with sugar. This will make the syrup last longer.


Evliya Çelebi (17th century historian) mentions that rose water, amber, musk and violet were added to sherbets.

In addition, flower-based sherbets such as poppy and rose sherbets were also made.


Smell is as important as taste in sherbets. The famous western traveler D'ohson mentions that sherbets are served with violet, rose, saffron, aloe, linden, musk and amber.

In the Ottoman Empire, sherbet is considered an acceptable beverage of all seasons.

Hosaf, Syrup and Sherbet are different.

The place of hosaf is very different in the Ottoman Empire. You can find hundreds of compote recipes made from dried fruits. If fresh fruits are used instead of dried fruits, it will be compote.

As it is known, Turks used to serve compote because they did not like to drink water during the meal. Dried fruits, in the Ottoman Empire, were preferred because they generally have sweeter flavor and that sweet taste was more intense. Westerners, on the other hand, preferred to use fresh fruits with lower sugar content.


The most important difference between syrup and compote is that syrups do not have grains/pieces it. We, in Turks, have a phrase for someone who does not understand the value of something; "You don't understand Hosaf, you drink your water and leave a grain." we say.

Although we sometimes see the words syrup and sherbet used in the same way, the density of syrup is increased by boiling, and sherbet is diluted by adding water.


Sherbet culture, on the other hand, has hundreds of varieties as it spreads over a large geography. It is an undeniable fact that sherbets are used as a source of healing.


For example, we can see the benefits of some of them as follows:

Tamarind and Peach Blossom Sorbet: Helps evacuate the intestines

Lemon balm sherbet: Strengthening

Carob Sorbet: Blood Refreshing

Blackcurrant sherbet: Against chest diseases.

Almond sherbet: To facilitate digestion

Poppy sherbet: Against stomach diseases

Linden sherbet: To help with sweating


History of Sherbet:

Sherbet has been accepted as a refreshing beverage by the Islamic communities of the Middle East, Eastern Mediterranean and Central Asian geographies.

It was distributed to those who came to visit after the birth of the children of the sultans. There was a custom of sending sherbet to the grand vizier, especially on the third day of his birth. Sherbets were served in gold or silver cups. Also, sherbet was used at the feast tables of the western empires.


With the helvahane, which was added to the kitchens of Topkapı Palace later, the kitchen became like a sherbet, dessert and syrup laboratory.

Palace, which gave importance to making sherbet, also gave importance to serving. Although there was a difference in the palace and public kitchens, the care shown was the same when it came to sherbet and hosting guests. Sherbet today? We will talk about it in our tours ;) Have a great and healthy week for all. Sanem Yucesoy foodandfashionmag@gmail.com

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