A Fine Dessert

Four Centuries, Four Families, One Delicious Treat

Schwartz  & Wade/Random House, 2015.  Illustrated by Sophie Blackall

Four families, in four different cities, over four centuries, make the same dessert: blackberry fool.  This richly detailed book shows how food, technology, and even families have changed throughout American history.  

In 1710, a girl and her mother in Lyme, England, prepare a blackberry fool, picking wild blackberries and beating cream from their cow with a bundle of twigs. The same dessert is prepared by a slave girl and her mother in 1810 in Charleston, South Carolina; by a mother and daughter in 1910 in Boston; and finally by a boy and his father in present-day San Diego.  

Includes a recipe for blackberry fool and notes from the author and illustrator about their research. 

For more information on this book,  including material about the controversies surrounding it and approaches for handling it should you want to use it in a classroom,  please see the Classroom Activities page.