Wednesday, October 17, 2007

A little bit of sunshine: Orange Sorbet, sprinkled with pistachios

Living behind the impenetrable Iron Curtain, I grew up without bananas, McDonalds and Coca Cola. But we did have Pepsi Cola and Fanta. When Mr Nixon became the President of the USA, Pepsi became the first foreign consumer product to be sold in the USSR - apparently it was traded for Stolichnaya vodka. Fanta entered the Soviet shops when Mr Carter was presiding over the USA in 1979; Coca Cola arrived with Mr Reagan in 1985*. And it was the distant memory of Fanta - a orange-flavoured soft drink I haven't had for ages - that so vividly came to my mind when sipping the last, melted scoops of this beautifully coloured sorbet last morning..

Of course, there is much more to Fanta than freshly squeezed orange juice, sugar and water (and what is inside Fanta depends on where you're buying it - do read the note below**). But the association is there, at least for me. This was super-easy to make - as long as you've got an ice-cream machine (and I do), and extremely rewarding. We'll be making this sorbet again and again soon, as well as experiment with other citrus flavours..

Orange Sorbet
Serves 6

400 ml freshly squeezed orange juice
200 ml water
200 ml caster sugar
pistachio nuts, to serve (optional)

Pour water and sugar into a small saucepan and bring to the boil. Reduce heat and simmer for 5 minutes to make a syrup. Cool.
Mix cold orange juice and syrup and churn in your ice cream maker according to the instructions. (We gave it 20 minutes in a Kitchen Aid ice cream attachment).
Put in the freezer to harden a little before serving.

To serve, sprinkle with pistachio nuts for a great colour impact.

* Read this New York Times article from 1995 for more information.
** According to Wikipedia,
the Spanish Fanta Orange contains Carbonated water, sugar, 8% orange juice from concentrate, acidity regulator E-330 (citric acid), aromas, preserver E-211 (sodium benzoate), stabilizers E-414 (gum arabic), E-412 (guar gum), E-445, antioxidant E-300 (ascorbic acid), food coloring E-160a and gelatine (made from fish). The US Fanta Orange contains Carbonated water, high fructose corn syrup and/or sucrose, citric acid, sodium benzoate, modified food starch, natural and artificial flavors, sucrose acetate isobutyrate, sodium polyphosphates, coconut oil, yellow 6, brominated vegetable oil, red 40, dioctyl sodium sulfosuccinate.
So if you're buying Fanta Orange in the US, my orange juice association may seem totally out of place to you - there's none in the American version :)

UPDATE 31.10.2007: I've also learnt that Estonian Fanta Orange contains 3% orange juice (in the interest of research, I drank one last week. And yes, the association still holds:), and a Greek Fanta Orange a whopping 20% orange juice! What a difference! (Note that Coca Cola recipe is the same across the world).


K and S said...

reminds me of the orange bars we used to eat with vanilla ice cream in the centers. your orange sherbert sounds way healthier.

Lydia (The Perfect Pantry) said...

Until I read your note at the end about US Fanta, I was thinking, "No, she cannot seriously have a good food association with Fanta soda!" Here it is a horrible, vapid, completely artificial product. Good orange sherbet is something I do associate with childhood, though, and to this day I prefer orange sherbet to all other flavors.

Gloria Baker said...

So nice recipe. Nami I grew up with Coca Cola and Fanta, when you went to a house (many years ago) asking you Fanta or Coca Cola??? I laughing remember, Today I drink wine or water depends! I like your recipe.xxxxxGloria

MyKitchenInHalfCups said...

I was thinking like lydia, orange?
So you got orange and the US got chemicals and sugars! I wonder how kids survive here! What an eye opener.

Alanna Kellogg said...

There's considerable irony that what followed 'Mr' Reagan was Coke ...

Growing up, our next-door neighbor girl poured not milk but Fanta (or another 'orange' soda) over her morning fruit loops (which makes a certain sense, chemical-flavored liquid over chemical-flavored breakfast cereal).

Angelina said...

Why is it my country has got to make it's mark with "food" that can hardly be called food and drinks made almost entirely from processed corn?!!!

Anita said...

Yes, I didn't think Fanta in any way resembled orange juice when I was growing up - it was like orange flavored soda. How interesting that it was so different for you! I love the combination of oranges and pistachios!

Lisa Fain (Homesick Texan) said...

What an interesting history of sodas behind the Iron Curtain! Fanta has always been more popular outside the US than here, and now that I know the ingredients are different I'm not surprised. I'd rather have orange juice over orange flavor any day!

Anonymous said...

The picture is beautiful....The dessert looks divine!

Trig said...

You know I don't think I've ever actually had an orange sorbet before. It seems a bit silly because I've had so many foreward-thinking creations like wasabi ice cream for example but I've never had something as simple as orange. I'm afriad since the move to Barcelona I'm no longer in possession of a churner so I don't imagine I'll be making any any time soon.

Rachael Narins said...

Oh wow. It took this post for me to register you grew up in a Soviet Bloc country! What an incredible (and incredibly foriegn to me) thing!

Fanta, to me, is an altogeher Latin beverage. It makes me think of Mexico, Argentina and Spain...but now, I include Estonia.

Your sorbet looks amazing! I must try some as soon as we get a heat spell...

lobstersquad said...

never even suspected there was real orange juice in fanta! very interesting. I was more of a lemon fanta girl, anyway, so I´m not sure I´d make the mental leap either. sorbet looks lovely

Anonymous said...

I found your blog via the WHB. Love your sorbet, it looks divine, the colours are beautiful and I can just imagine how light it will be after a warm winter meal!

Nails...etcetera with Priscilla ! said...

Love your photo..the colors are brilliant.
Fanta was my fav. childhood drink.

Anonymous said...

Great photo Pille . . . and what a wild perspective on Fanta. You could serve this with a scoop of vanilla ice cream and it would be like a Dreamsicle :-).

Susan from Food Blogga said...

Oranges and pistachios are great together, aren't they? I just made a salad with them in it. I'd love to try this sorbet for dessert now.

Figs, Bay, Wine said...

How fabulous to associate sodas with terms of US. Presidents! I think there's a book in that somewhere...

Jeanne said...

What a lovely photo - and a fascinating history lesson of consumer products behind the Iron Curtain ;-) Pepsi withdrew from South Africa in the 1980s during the anti-apartheid sanctions (which also meant we did not have McDOnalds until the mid 1990s - FACT!) so as kids we really didn't know it that well (when they tried to re-enter the market about 10 years ago they had to give up as the simply could not compete with Coke's established distribution channels!).

Anyhow, as it was a Coke product I DID grow up with Fanta and ours definitely also had a small percentage of orange juice - 6% sticks in the mind but I could be wrong. We even had a regional flavour - Fanta Naartjie, with a naartjie being roughly the equivalent of a clementine.

I'm always fascinated by the differences in taste between the same product manufactured in different places. I used to think I was imagining it, but I swore that Bovril tasted different in South Africa and England over the past few years. Turns out the ingredients were different - because of BSE, the English version had to stop using beef stock while the SA version didn't. The UK version has only now re-introduced beef stock to the ingredients.

Pille said...

K&S – the sherbert/sorbet/sherbet (so many ways to spell it!) was healthy indeed – yes, there was sugar, but then it also contained freshly squeezed vitamin-rich orange juice, and that’s it!

Lydia – we suspected as much. Note that I haven’t had Fanta for years, but somehow the memories of that drink popped into my head when slurping this sorbet..

Gloria – thank you! And same here – I drink water most.

Tanna – LOL! I should actually check out what the Fanta Orange of today consists of here in Estonia!

Alanna - chemical-flavored liquid over chemical-flavored breakfast cereal may make sense, but it surely tastes horrid! Do you think she is still alive????

Angelina – there’s a question to the legislators!

Anita – it didn’t resemble orange juice, but orange soda. But if you think of this sorbet, then it’s half orange juice, quarter water (dilutes the orange flavour) and quarter sugar (sweetens the juice), so it’s like orange soda indeed. But then orange juice wasn’t available during Soviet time either, so orange soda was the closest thing to the ‘real stuff’ anyway..

Homesick Texan – it’d be interesting to see if there are other Fanta Orange versions out there!

Lydia - thank you!

Trig – somehow orange sorbet sounds so much more appealing than wasabi ice cream, you know :)

Rachael – yes, I did J But I think I turned out pretty ok :)

Lobstersquad – well, our minds can make most curious connections…

Ronell – welcome to Nami-nami! The colour of this sorbet was incredible indeed – soooo yellow and bright!

PawPaw – thank you – I’m glad you like the photo!

SwirlingNotions – I never thought of that. But then I’ve never had a Dreamsicle in my life :)

Susan – it’s surely a great colour combination!

Figs Olives Wine – who knows :)

Jeanne – thank you for your informative comment! Mid 1990s was when McDonalds came to Estonia, too. Thanks for the information on Fanta Naartjie – it’s so cool to read about those regional varieties!