Can Italian Ice be Refrozen

Can you refreeze sorbet, ice cream, and Italian ice after thawing? For sorbet and Italian ice, it is safe to refreeze it after thawing. In the case of Italian ice, you would not like it to be thawed into puddles of water then refreeze them back. You will later have to crush the ice to get back the Italian ice that you wanted. 

Italian ice is a sweetened frozen dessert made with concentrates of fruit, juices or purree, or any other natural and artificial food flavorings similar to sorbet. It is likely derived from Sicilian Granita, a related dessert which has been brought by Italian immigrants to the United States of America.

Italian Ice Gelato

Sicilian granita itself is a semi-frozen dessert made of sugar, water, and various flavorings. Although the ingredient is the same as Italian ice, Sicilian granita tends to have coarser, more crystalline texture. The texture varies from place to place, with the east of Italy having a texture nearly the same as sorbet.
This difference in texture is caused by a different method of freezing techniques. The smoother east side granita is produced in gelato machines, while the coarser varieties are frozen only with occasional agitation, then scraped and shaved to produce crystals like textures. 

Sorbet is typically acidic, because of the fruit juices and contain sugar. Both acts as a preservative in addition to the cold temperature the sorbet is kept. However, if a block of sorbet ice wanted to refreeze, it is advised to melt the sorbet block gradually. The fruity flavor of the sorbet is volatile. When it was overheated, the flavoring broke down and the taste could deteriorate. 

It is not advisable to refreeze ice cream. This is due to the fat and sugar that it contained. When it started melting, the cells of the ice cream breaks and the moistures leaches out. Because it contains fat, any person who consumes refrozen ice cream might risk their health due to the growth of Listeria Monocytogenes that thrives in the sugar environment. 

What is the difference between Italian ice, sorbet and ice cream? 

ice cream cloud

Sorbet and Italian ice cream have more similarities to their other counterparts, ice cream. Three of them are ice-based confections that are recognizable for their similarities in flavor and composition. 

  • Textures
  • The main difference between Italian ice and sorbet is in the textures. Italian ice is more grainy while sorbet has a smoother mouthfeel. This is part of how Italian sorbet is made. Italian ice is known as water ice or shaved ice. Because of its composition, generally comprises grainy, ground ice that contributes to a grainy texture. 

    Sorbet, on the other hand, tends to be smoother. It is achieved by blending higher blend and a different ratio of sugar and flavoring of the ice. Sorbet can also contain alcohol, which contributes to the composition and textures. 

    Ice cream tends to be in the softer and smoother side as well. This is because ice cream contains milk. USFDA regulates that it should contain at least 10% milkfat.  

  • Flavors
  • Both Italian ice and sorbet offer fruit flavors. Sorbets are often found in lemon, lime, cherry, blackberry, mint, strawberry, blueberry and raspberry flavors. There are few specialty flavors that high-end ice sorbet shops experiment with such as pistachio, pear, persimmon, pink grapefruit, grape, and nectarine. 

    Italian ice comes in similar fruity flavor, which includes additional of mango and pineapple. Some other flavors are rarely found, part to the fact that it is nearly impossible to make these flavors without creamy base like ice cream. These are flavors are chocolate and vanilla. 

    Ice cream comes with various flavors, such as raspberry, peppermint, caramel, etc. However, the notable difference to both its counterpart is that ice cream supports creamy based flavors such as chocolate and vanilla. This is due to the way it was made. 

  • Nutritional Value
  • There is a considerable amount of differences in nutrition value of sorbet and Italian ice. One cup of serving of lemon sorbet contains 259 calories, 190 milligrams of sodium and 64 carbohydrates, fifty of which are sugar carbs. Sorbet has a higher vitamin C content compared to ice cream or Italian ice. 

    The same size of Italian ice contains 120 calories, 10 milligrams of sodium, and 30 carbohydrates, 23 of which comes from sugar carbs. Neither contains fat, however, Italian ice contains 1 gram of fiber. 

    Ice cream, on the other hand, contains 267 calories, 32,5 of carbohydrates and 14,3 grams of fat. The mixture of sugar and cream makes this treat high in calories and fat. 

    •  Recipe Difference

    Both sorbet and Italian ice are created by freezing ingredients to the ice during the process of crushing it. Cheap, quickly made Italian ice cream are often than not made by adding fruit concentrate into a shaved ice. The authentic Italian way to making it, however, was to blend water, ice, sugar and flavoring ingredients. The difference ratio of ice, water, and sugar are changed depending on the type of flavor and desired consistency.

    Ice cream, however, is made mixing sugar, cream, and milk. The flavoring ingredient is added later before churning it together. 


    Different types of cold dessert exist aside from Italian ice, sorbet and ice cream. This is due to the different type of preparation, ingredients that it contains, as well as textures of the desert itself. 

    Due to various reasons, there is a need to refreeze these desserts back from its liquified form. However, please do the due diligence and research the ingredients that it contained. If it contains fat or any animal-based ingredient, it might not be advisable to refreeze it. However, if it does not, still do so with caution. 

    Efforts have been made to get the information as accurate and updated as possible. If you found any incorrect information with credible source, please send it via the contact us form
    Sky Hoon
    Italy Lover. He travel to Europe a few times and loved Italy for its unique language and culture. He loved the idea of Italian food focusing on original taste of the ingredient.
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