Eton mess

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Traditional Eton Mess

Eton mess is a traditional English dessert consisting of a mixture of strawberries, pieces of meringue and cream, which is traditionally served at Eton College's annual cricket game against the students of Winchester College.[1] The dish has been known by this name since the 19th century.[2] According to Recipes from the Dairy (1995)[3] by Robin Weir, who spoke to Eton College's librarian,[4] Eton mess was served in the 1930s in the school's "sock shop" (tuck shop), and was originally made with either strawberries or bananas mixed with ice-cream or cream. Meringue was a later addition,[5] and may have been an innovation by Michael Smith, the author of Fine English Cookery (1973).[6] An Eton mess can be made with many other types of summer fruit,[7] but strawberries are regarded as more traditional. A similar dessert is the Lancing mess, served throughout the year at Lancing College in West Sussex, England.[8]

The word mess may refer to the appearance of the dish,[5] or may be used in the sense of "a quantity of food", particularly "a prepared dish of soft food" or "a mixture of ingredients cooked or eaten together".[9]

Further reading

  • Leigh, Rowley (2003-07-01). "Messy pleasures". The Daily Telegraph.


  1. ^ "Dates of Halves". Eton College. Retrieved 2007-12-06.[dead link] "Eton Glossary". Eton College. Archived from the original on 2007-10-28. Retrieved 2007-12-06.
  2. ^ Arthur Henry Beavan (1896). "Marlborough House and Its Occupants: Present and Past": 162.
  3. ^ Weir, Robin (1995). Recipes from the Dairy. London: National Trust. ISBN 0707802431. Unknown parameter |coauthors= ignored (|author= suggested) (help)
  4. ^ Blumenthal, Heston (2005-02-05). "The appliance of science : Another fine mess". The Guardian.
  5. ^ a b Blumenthal, Heston (2003-06-28). "No messing". The Guardian.
  6. ^ Smith, Michael (1973). Fine English Cookery. London: Faber and Faber. ISBN 0571103499. See Dupleix, Jill (2004-06-03). "Eton mess : Strawberries and cream make a superb summer pudding for lazy, hazy days". London: The Times.
  7. ^ A recipe by Heston Blumenthal, for instance, uses bananas: see Blumenthal, Heston (2006-02-12). "Eton mess : Look, no berries – this Eton mess is a crispy, creamy, zingy heap of a treat". London: The Sunday Times.
  8. ^ See, for instance, "Menu 3" (PDF). Lancing College. p. 3. Retrieved 2008-01-22.
  9. ^ "mess". Merriam-Webster Online Dictionary. Retrieved 2007-11-25. The Oxford English Dictionary defines mess as "[a] serving of food; a course; a meal; a prepared dish of a specified kind of food." or "[a] portion or serving of liquid or pulpy food such as milk, broth, porridge, boiled vegetables, etc.": Simpson, John, ed. (March 2002). "mess, n.". OED Online. Oxford: Oxford University Press. Retrieved 2007-07-10..

External links