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The Oldest Recipe With The Name Parfait Comes From A French Cookbook Dated 1892

Usually served in a specially styled glass, layers of fruit, yogurt or ice cream, and nuts, chocolate or even whipped cream are the ingredients on National Parfait Day on November 25.

  • A French word that literally means “perfect” was originally used to describe a kind of frozen dessert beginning in 1892.
  • The oldest recipe with the name parfait comes from a French cookbook dated 1892.
  • In the United States, parfaits are served in the traditional French style by layering parfait cream, ice cream, gelato or pudding in a clear, tall glass topped with whipped cream, fruit or liqueurs.
  • The Northern United States expanded on the parfait and began to use yogurt layered with nuts or granola or fresh fruits which may be, but are not limited to, strawberries, blueberries, bananas or peaches. This idea spread quickly across all parts of the country, and the yogurt parfait gained popularity as a breakfast item.
  • The original parfait recipe was a frozen coffee-flavored French ice dessert constructed in parfait-shaped (tall and thin) ice cream molds.
  • French-style parfait is served on decorated plates instead of tall, thin glassware.
  • The American parfait is made by layering parfait cream, ice cream, and/or flavored gelatins in a tall, clear glass, and topping the creation with whipped cream, fresh or canned fruit.
  • Although parfaits were originally served on decorative plates, today they are typically layered in tall, thin glasses.
  • It is often served in a tall, clear glass and topping creation with whipped cream and fruit.
  • Origin of PARFAIT: French, literally, something perfect, from parfait perfect, from Latin perfectus. 
  • Yogurt parfaits, also known as American parfaits, contain rich amounts of nutrients, such as protein, fiber, fats, and natural sugar, that provide needed energy for the brain and the body. A glass of parfait could refresh, after a long day at work, or be an energy boost to continue working during the day.
  • The Middle Ages: Le Fruit – Before dessert, as we know it today, the aristocrats ate fruits after meals.
  • 16th Century: Sugar Sculptures – Chefs craft elaborate sugar sculptures to serve as the centerpiece during dessert.
  • 17th Century: The Word ‘Dessert’ is First Used. After the French Revolution, individual desserts replaced the fruit course.
  • 1890’s: Parfait Recipe – The oldest known parfait recipe is discovered in France.


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