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National Strawberry Parfait Day, dedicated to that delicious treat that is so welcome during the hot summer months, and craved even in the face of the biting cold of winter by the true connoisseur. The exotic sounding name brings to mind the quaint little street-side cafes of Paris, where the treat so many of us are familiar with found its origin.It’s name describes the treat to a tee, Parfait means, simply, “Perfect”. But a perfect what? The word parfait has actually been used to describe quite a number of different things, and not all of them are delicious layered deserts.

In the UK, the word is actually used to describe a smooth meat paste, also known as a pate, that is traditionally made from the liver of a chicken or duck, mixed with a strong liquer of one form or another.This is certainly not what National Strawberry Parfait Day is about! Instead, our parfait are those popularized by ice cream shops all over the world, especially those served in layers of delectable ice-creams and gelatins with drool worthy fruit toppings.

Such was the dedication to making this the perfect treat, that special glasses were designed solely for the purpose of showing off the artistically layered designs made during the treats creation. Parfaits can include any combination of ingredients, from creams and fruits, nuts, liquor, even gelatin or granola. They’ve crossed the line from being merely a dessert food, to being deemed appropriate for any time of day, with just a twist on exactly what’s included.

What of the strawberry I hear you say? I do distinctly remember hearing something about strawberries that were intended to go with this parfait. Right you are! The strawberry as we know it today, that delicious, fragrant red fruit with the jaunty green cap, was first developed in Brittany, France, during the 1750’s. It might be thought that the French were dedicating their time solely to the perfection of this divine treat! Prior to this the fruit had a long and respectable history throughout the world, but it was in France that it became… parfait!

So how can these two things be combined to create the perfect parfait? Depending on whether you desire it to be part of your breakfast selection, or a decadent dessert to cap off the day, a strawberry parfait can be created in a number of delicious and enticing ways.

We’ll start with the best of breakfast treats, a parfait assembled using yogurt, granola, and of course the bright red treat that is the strawberry! Obviously in order to put this treat together you’re going to need Yogurt, but not just any yogurt will do! Remember, this is supposed to be the ‘perfect’ breakfast treat. When selecting a yogurt for a breakfast parfait, stick to the thicker bodied yogurts, like greek yogurt.

While still being healthy these yogurts stay truer to the spirit of the parfait by being smooth and luxurious. Combine this with an almond vanilla granola mixture, and a handful of sliced strawberries. If you’re feeling particularly decadent, take the strawberries and coat them with sugar in a bowl. Left for a few minutes, they’ll develop their own delicious sauce. Then you need merely create layers of these ingredients, preferably in a clear container! Voila! One delicious breakfast Strawberry parfait!

But dessert is truly where this treat comes into it’s own, the strawberry parfait is meant to be a rich decadent dive into indulgence, and our next combination will make sure it’s just that. When designing the perfect dessert parfait, it needs to start with a parfait glass.

This dish starts with a vanilla pound cake, cut into small cubes. You place a layer of these at the bottom of a parfait glass, and then top it with a layer of rich vanilla custard, using the sugar recipe from above, you make strawberries in a natural glaze, and layer those on top of the custard, and repeat until the glass is full.There we have the perfect strawberry parfait.

When celebrating National Strawberry Parfait Day, these are just a couple of the strawberry based recipes you can use to truly ring it in in style! Share recipes with your co-workers and friends, and maybe host a special dessert party to put this treat into the spotlight it richly deserves!

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