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Flummery

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Flummery is a sweet soft pudding that is made from stewed fruit and thickened with cornstarch.

Traditional British flummeries were, like porridge, often oatmeal-based and cooked to achieve a smooth and gelatinous texture; sugar and milk were typically added and occasionally orange flower water. The dish is typically bland in nature. The dish gained stature in the 17th century where it was prepared in elaborate molds and served with applause from the dining audience. The writer Bill Bryson described flummery as an early form of blancmange in his book Made in America.

The word also came to mean generally dishes made with milk, eggs and flour in the late seventeenth and during the nineteenth centuries. It later came to have more negative connotations as a bland, empty and unsatisfying food. In Australia post World War II, flummery was known as a mousse dessert made with beaten evaporated milk, sugar and gelatine. Also made using jelly crystals, mousse flummery became established as an inexpensive alternative to traditional cream-based mousse in Australia.

A pint of flummery was suggested as an alternative to 4 ounces (110 g) of bread and a 0.5 imperial pints (0.28 l) of new milk for the supper of sick inmates in Irish Workhouses in the 1840s.



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