Appears in

Oxford Companion to Food

Oxford Companion to Food

By Alan Davidson

Published 2014

  • About

trifle a traditional English sweet or dessert. The essential ingredients are sponge cake soaked in sherry or white wine, rich custard, fruit or jam, and whipped cream, layered in a glass dish in that order. The cream is often decorated with, for example, slivers of almond, glacé cherries, angelica. The trifle is essentially a popular dish, i.e. a dish of the people, more apt to be present at family celebrations and children’s parties than in cookery books or on restaurant menus.

The word trifle derives from the Middle English ‘trufle’ which in turn came from the Old French trufe (or trufle), meaning something of little importance.