The great trifle debate…this is no trifling matter!

Gasant Abarder did ‘his own research’ and presents his findings in this new #SliceofGasant column. The results are in and they are emphatic: South Africa has given its mandate for the festive trifle! Abarder, who recently launched his book, Hack with a Grenade, is among the country’s most influential media voices. Catch his weekly column here, exclusive to Cape {town} Etc. The... Read more → The post The great trifle debate…this is no trifling matter! appeared first on CapeTown ETC.

The great trifle debate…this is no trifling matter!

Gasant Abarder did ‘his own research’ and presents his findings in this new #SliceofGasant column. The results are in and they are emphatic: South Africa has given its mandate for the festive trifle!

Abarder, who recently launched his book, Hack with a Grenade, is among the country’s most influential media voices. Catch his weekly column here, exclusive to Cape {town} Etc.


The people have spoken. The anti-trifle brigade needs to sit down and endure because the pro-trifle folks say yes to the deliciousness that is the favourite dessert at the Christmas table.

How do I know? I did ‘my own research’, of course.

I finally put that distinction for my research project in my journalism degree programme to good use for the sake of nation building – a degree which I graduated cum laude (gosh, I’ve been dying to say that legitimately to the public without being boastful, as one has to display one’s credentials, right?).

Those who voted for trifle won by a healthy (or unhealthy?) majority.

I used the tried and tested and massively scientific Twitter poll as my medium and asked three groundbreaking questions. By comparison and proportion, my poll had a far superior voter turnout than the IEC could dream of during the most recent local government elections. A total of 845 people voted.

The poll was carefully curated and read: ‘Conducting a quick poll in the name of research. To trifle or not to trifle:
I’m pro-trifle 64.9%
I’m anti-trifle 24.1%
I’m trifle-hesitant 11%

The anecdotal evidence was there for all to see, too. And the proof was in the pudding.

If you checked out the Christmas day posts on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram, the trifle grabbed attention in all its glory in South African homes. We — I mean — those trifle lovers, depleted the supermarket shelves of custard, fresh cream, sponge cake, berries and all the other 1001 ingredients that go into this festive feast.

My comments were filled with naysayers and trifle hardliners alike.

One wrote: “My friend’s brother’s girlfriend’s mother’s friend’s sister-in-law’s wife apparently knew someone who knew someone who ate trifle and then rolled their ankle the following day. I’m going to do my own research and not eat trifle until we know the long-term effects.”

Media commentator and Deputy Editor of The Citizen, Brendan Seery, said: “I think we need trifle mandates.”

Twitter user @zidhiva wrote: “Trifle-hesitant is a new one. I am against trifles except mRNA trifles *More Rum No Apricots*.”

Peter van der Merwe added this cherry on top: “Got into trouble with anti-triflers yesterday for comparing them to anti-vaxxers. I think anti-vaxxers may be easier to reason with.”

Those in the anti-trifle camp declared they would never let a spoonful of the goodness pass their lips because they weren’t lab rats. I laughed out loud when my Twitter mate Jared Chaitowitz added: “Trifle mandate?! Organises protest/trifle-free picnic on the Sea Point Promenade.”

There are of course bad trifles, much as we’d like to be in denial about this. I remember working Christmas Day as a reporter at the then eNEWS and the bosses stumped up to send over lunch – complete with trifle as dessert. I smiled when I heard trifle but it quickly turned into a frown when I saw this specimen. It was a hot mess.

The red jelly hadn’t set properly and my colleague Mike Rautenbach then, upon tasting the abomination, made a prompt call to the service provider that had the newsroom in hysterics. His call went something like this: “The roast chicken, rice and veggies were delicious but the trifle was so…effens spuitpoeperig” (slightly runny-tummy-ish as loose translation from Afrikaans). He thus coined the phrase of a lifetime, spuitpoeperig, for me.

Preparing a trifle with jelly that hasn’t set properly is just one rookie mistake novices make, says celebrity Cape Town chef Jenny Morris. “You need to choose a large, deep bowl for your trifle so that you can build beautiful layers. You want each layer to be beautiful so when cutting the cake for your trifle make sure it’s thick enough not to turn mushy.”

“Set the jelly upfront so that it is almost set and easy to spoon onto the other ingredients, and the custard can rest on top of it. I like to add a layer of thick Greek yogurt to break up the sweetness. Place the whipped cream onto the top of the trifle just before serving.”

Trifle herd immunity holds the key to unlocking world peace and ridding society of all ills. Don’t take my word for it. The people have spoken.

Also read:

Once upon a time at a traditional Cape Malay wedding…

Picture: Twitter /@SoDairyTech

The post The great trifle debate…this is no trifling matter! appeared first on CapeTown ETC.


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