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Oxford Companion to Food

Oxford Companion to Food

By Alan Davidson

Published 2014

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Posset in its earliest medieval form was a drink made from milk lightly curdled by adding an acid liquid such as wine, ale, citrus juice, to it. It was sweetened and often spiced. Sometimes the curds and whey were separated and the curds mixed with conventional junket curds, breadcrumbs, and honey to make an ‘eating posset’ that was thick enough to slice. In the 17th century sack (like sweet sherry), claret, or orange juice were used in eating possets. There were rich versions containing cream and eggs. Later additions in the 18th century included almonds and crumbled Naples biscuits (sponge fingers, see under biscuit varieties), and brandy might be added to the wine. By now the dish had more or less lost its identity, and soon lost its name; it developed into the early types of trifle and into various ‘creams’, which contained fewer eggs or none and resembled a syllabub or a fruit fool.