By Deane Barker

In the American usage, it’s a layered dish, served in a tall glass, so the layers are visible.

  • A yogurt parfait is usually layers of yogurt, fruit, and granola
  • An ice cream parfait is ice cream, fruit, and whipped cream

In France, there’s another usage for a frozen custard dessert (no layering).

It’s the French word for “perfect.”

Why I Looked It Up

My wife and I were having brunch. She ordered a yogurt parfait, and said the counter staff always looks at her funny when she calls it that. What she was eating was yogurt in a bowl with fruit and granola.

So, we looked it up, and it turns out it’s not a “parfait” in a strict sense, because there was no layering – it was just yogurt in a a bowl with some other stuff. Layer it and put it in a tall glass, and it would have been a parfait.

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