Trifle (The English Kitchen)

November 1, 2020
Trifle (The English Kitchen)

Filenote | OCR'd, TOC built, PaginatedRelaxing after the labours of the Oxford Companion to Food, thelate Alan Davidson and his trusty lieutenant of the last years ofits compilation, Helen Saberi, turned their spotlight on trifle.Nothing is more emblematic of English cookery. Trifles have been aperennial of English summer lunches, tennis parties, and schoolboydreams of plenty. The authors trace their origins to the earliestrecipe of 1596 and its gradual transformation from a mere cookedcream to the many-layered custardy extravagance we know today. Thestages on its journey, described with the lightest of touch, areillustrated by recipes extracted from classic English cookerybooks.With their customary brilliance they have universalised theEnglish experience, casting far and wide for examples, returninghome with trifles from Laos, America, Australasia, Mexico, Eritrea,South Africa, Afghanistan, Malta, and even Norway, where VeiledMaidens are all the rage at teatime. The resulting recipes, handytips and historical speculation amount to a ladleful of wit andamusement.