Appears in

Oxford Companion to Food

Oxford Companion to Food

By Alan Davidson

Published 2014

  • About

Elevenses a colloquial expression which entered the English language in the late 18th century, meaning a light refreshment taken at about 11 o’clock in the morning. Although the timing is flexible and the extent of the refreshment, especially the food element, has proved to be highly variable, the institution has retained its place in the daily schedule of most British people. Nor are they alone in this. Of the many corresponding institutions in other parts of the world, the most important is probably the Mediterranean merenda or merienda. However, the zweite Frühstück (second breakfast) eaten in various German-speaking regions is an important northerly counterpart of this meridional institution.