Italy's first melons came to ancient Rome from Persia. They were soon being cultivated successfully near the city, in the town of Cantalupo, which gave its name to today's best-known melon variety, showcased here in a light and refreshing sorbet. For the freshest flavor and best consistency, make the sorbet no more than one day in advance of serving.


  • 1/4 cup water
  • 1/4 cup plus 1 teaspoon sugar
  • 2 1/2 pounds cantaloupes
  • 2 extra-large egg whites


In a deep saucepan, combine water and 1/4 cup sugar, and bring to a boil over high heat. Do not stir or the mixture will crystallize. Continue to boil until it becomes a thick and clear syrup, about 5 minutes. Remove from heat and let cool.

Cut the cantaloupes in half, then remove and discard the seeds. Cut off and discard the rind. Chop the pulp coarsely. You should have about 1 1/2 pounds of pulp. Working in batches if necessary, place the melon pulp in a food processor fitted with the metal blade or in a blender, and purée until smooth. Transfer the puréed melon to a bowl, add the cooled syrup and stir until blended. Cover and chill well, at least 2 hours.

Transfer the melon mixture to an ice cream maker and freeze according to the manufacturer's instructions.

Meanwhile, using a clean bowl and an electric mixer set at high speed, beat the egg whites until frothy. Add 1 teaspoon sugar and continue to beat until semisoft peaks form.

When the melon mixture is slushy and a little frozen, add the egg whites to the mixture and then continue to freeze until solid.


Spoon into bowls and serve immediately.

Recipe reprinted by permission of Weldon Owen. All rights reserved.

RecID 2106

nutrition information per serving

163 calories; 1g total fat; 0mg cholesterol; 62mg sodium; 37g carbohydrates; 2g fiber; 5g protein

These nutrition facts are calculated according to the ingredients listed in this recipe. Any substitutions will change these facts. Although we strive for accuracy, please note that food manufacturers occasionally change their food formulas, which could affect the calculations as shown.

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