(obsolete spelling foole
) is an English dessert generally made by mixing puréed
fruit, whipped cream
, sugar, and possibly a flavouring agent like rose water
History and etymology
is first mentioned as a dessert in 1598 (together with trifle
), although the origins of gooseberry
fool may date back to the 15th century. The earliest recipe for fruit fool dates to the mid 17th century.. Why the word "fool" is used as the name of the this fruit dessert is not clear. Several authors derives it from the French verb fouler
meaning “to crush” or “to press” (in the context of pressing grapes for wine), but this derivation is dismissed by the Oxford English Dictionary
as baseless and inconsistent with the early use of the word.
Originally the most common fruit ingredient in fools was gooseberries
, although other fruits and berries are known from early recipes, e.g., apples
. Modern recipes may include any seasonal fruit readily found, but gooseberry fool remains the perennial favorite.
Norfolk fool is an old local variation of the fruit fool which seems to treat the fruit content more as a secondary ingredient, adding it at the end of the recipe.