Does Rachel’s Thanksgiving trifle really taste like feet? We review a Dubai cafe's version

The first bite catapults your taste buds into a sweet daydream, until a savoury kick wakes you up

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Although it did not taste exactly like feet, like Ross said, Rachel’s infamous Thanksgiving trifle from an episode of Friends certainly leaves a weird taste in your mouth — or a sweet kick of betrayal.

Hampstead Bakery and Cafe in Dubai thought it would be a good idea to recreate the trifle, which the sitcom's fans would easily recognise as a quintessential Rachel blunder — hastily going through a cookbook and combining two unusual peas in a pod.

In the season six Thanksgiving special, Monica, Courtney Cox’s character, nervously asks Rachel, played by Jennifer Aniston, to make dessert for the gang. The culinary failure was the perfect comedy premise, and now, perhaps, a hit marketing gimmick for the Dubai venue.

Rachel ended up making a mix of a traditional English trifle, with custard, jam and whipped cream, and a shepherd’s pie. The sauteed meat is tucked between a generous layer of a yellowy saccharine custard and a lavish whipped cream topping.

The first bite of Hampstead Bakery and Cafe's version catapults your taste buds into a sweet daydream — the Dubai bakery in Downtown Kitchens really knows how to make a custard. That’s until a savoury kick wakes you up, and the spiced lamb overwhelms the palate.

It helps, slightly, that the dish is packed with familiar flavours — ladyfingers, cream, as well as fresh raspberries and banana.

To be fair, the individual ingredients of the trifle hit the correct notes. “Custard? Good. Jam? Good,” Friends character Joey famously said. If you are anything like him, you might want to try it out too.

Hampstead will offer the limited-edition dessert from November 24 to 26, for Dh35 ($9.5) a slice.

“I’ve always been a big Friends fan and the trifle scene is iconic. It’s meant to be a bit of fun, and we hope guests will enjoy reliving the episode this Thanksgiving," Fatima Suliman, co-founder of Hampstead Bakery and Cafe, tells The National.

For the less adventurous, the bakery sells the shepherd’s pie alone for Dh85, and the English trifle, without the meat, will soon be available for Dh35.

Watched and rewatched by millions of people across the globe, Friends has equally gripped its Dubai fans. In 2019, a replica of the famed orange sofa was displayed in Downtown Dubai, with Burj Khalifa providing the perfect backdrop.

Although the show first broadcast in 1994 and ended in 2004, its popularity has transcended generations. In 2021, Aniston, Cox, and the rest of the original cast members — Lisa Kudrow, Matt LeBlanc, Matthew Perry and David Schwimmer — got together for a special reunion show.

Scroll through the gallery below to see other famous scenes from the hit series

Updated: November 21, 2022, 5:27 AM
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