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The Parfait Dates Back To 1864 As A “Perfect” Frozen Dessert

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 1894.
  • 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-flavoured 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.
  • Origin of PARFAIT: French, literally, something perfect, from parfait perfect, from Latin perfectus. 


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