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Eton Mess

Answer: Trifle – by a long way.

The earliest use of the name Trifle was for a thick cream, flavoured with sugar, ginger and rosewater. The recipe was first published in England in 1596, in a book called The Good Housewife’s Jewell by Thomas Dawson. Sixty years later eggs were added and the custard was poured over alcohol-soaked bread.

While some people consider the inclusion of jelly to be a recent variation, the earliest known recipe to include jelly dates from 1747, and the poet Oliver Wendell Holmes wrote of trifles containing jelly in 1861.

Eton Mess is a traditional English dessert consisting of a mixture of strawberries, pieces of meringue and cream, which is traditionally served at Eton College’s annual cricket game against the pupils of their long-standing rivals Harrow School.

The dish has been known by this name since the 19th century. According to Recipes from the Dairy (1995) by Robin Weir, Eton Mess was served in the 1930s in the school’s “sock shop” (tuck shop), and was originally made with either strawberries or bananas mixed with ice-cream or cream. Meringue was a later addition, and may have been an innovation by Michael Smith, the author of Fine English Cookery (1973).

A popular myth (though thought to be untrue) is that Eton Mess was first created when a meringue dessert was accidentally crushed by a Labrador while travelling to a picnic at Eton College, but that it was salvaged and served as a crushed meringue with strawberries and cream.

Thanks Wikipedia.  Here at Whyte & Brown, we love them both but with our own special twist.  Our Beyond-Eton-Mess surprises with lemon posset and popping candy.  And our Typsy Trifle features chocolate sponge, Catalan custard and orange four ways: Cointreau, jelly, crispettes and fresh fruit. 

Pudding anyone?