A plaque remaining from the Big Apple Night Club at West 135th Street and Seventh Avenue in Harlem.

Above, a 1934 plaque from the Big Apple Night Club at West 135th Street and Seventh Avenue in Harlem. Discarded as trash in 2006. Now a Popeyes fast food restaurant on Google Maps.

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Entry from January 31, 2022
“Saw a market selling nothing but fruit, sherry, custard and sponge fingers. It was a trifle bazaar”

"Trifle bizarre” (meaning “a bit strange") shouldn’t be confused with “trifle bazaar” (meaning “a market that sells trifles"), but there are jokes.

“There’s these two French Legionnaires in the desert… (...) The other turned to face his companion and replied, ‘Yes, it was a trifle bazaar’” is a long joke that was posted on the newsgroup rec.food.cooking on October 13, 1997.

Shorter versions have been popular, especially on Twitter. “Was in Saudi Arabia recently. Found market selling custard, cream, Swiss roll and 100s & 1000s. It was a trifle bazaar” was posted on Twitter by “Enter name here” on June 5, 2009. “Saw a market selling nothing but fruit, sherry, custard and sponge fingers. It was a trifle bazaar” was posted on Twitter by Darren Walsh Puns on January 23, 2017. “I went to a market that only sold jelly and custard. It was a trifle bazaar” was posted on Reddit—Dadjokes on February 1, 2022.


Wikipedia: Trifle
Trifle is a layered dessert found in British and other cuisines. Made with a thin layer of sponge fingers commonly soaked in sherry or another fortified wine, custard and a fruit element (fresh, or jelly), the contents of a trifle are highly variable; many varieties exist, some forgoing fruit entirely and instead using other ingredients, such as chocolate, coffee or vanilla. The fruit and sponge layers may be suspended in fruit-flavoured jelly, and these ingredients are usually arranged to produce three or four layers. The assembled dessert can be topped with whipped cream, or, more traditionally, syllabub.

Wiktionary: trifle
Noun
trifle
(countable and uncountable, plural trifles)
1. An English dessert made from a mixture of thick custard, fruit, sponge cake, jelly and whipped cream.
2. Anything that is of little importance or worth.
3. An insignificant amount of money.

Google Groups: rec.food.cooking
Food for thought.......
Steve Kramer
Oct 13, 1997, 3:00:00 AM
There’s these two French Legionnaires in the desert, and they’ve been separated from their unit and are lost. They’ve been wandering for several days without food and water and are nearly resigned to the fact that they will soon die from dehydration when, as they reach the top of a sanddune, they see a big, bustling market laid out before them. Naturally, they can’t believe their eyes and think it’s a mirage, but as they draw closer, they can hear the stall holders’ cries and they eventually reach the market and realise that it’s really there. So the legionnaires rush up to the first stall they can and cry to the stall holder, “Stall holder, we have been travelling in the desert for many days, and have had no food or water. We shall surely die soon unless you have some which you can sell us - tell us, do you have any sustenance for us?”

The stall holder shook his head and replied “I’m sorry, French legionnaire-type people, but all I have to sell is a load of bowls full of jelly, topped with custard and cream, and lovingly sprinkled with hundreds and thousands of multi coloured little sweet bits.”

The legionnaires look at each other, mildly surprised, and move on to the next stall, where they ask the stall holder, “Mr purveyor of fine foodstuffs and the like, we have been travelling through the desert for days, deprived of the necessary beverages and foodstuffs which are required for survival. We shall surely die soon, unless you can sell us some skins of water.”

The stall holder looked at them, embarrassed, and confessed, “Gentlemen, tragic as I admit it is, I have none of the ingredients necessary to life for which you ask me, all I have to sell is this large bowl of jelly topped with custard and cream and sprinkled with hundreds and thousands of multi-coloured sweet bits, with a little cocktail cherry in the middle at the top - there,” he said, pointing out the glace cherry. “I cannot help you..”

The legionnaires look at each other in desperation, and run on to the next stall, where they demand of the stall holder, “Look mate,"(cos they’d stopped talking funny all of a sudden) “we need water or we’ll die. We’ve been travelling without water for days and need some now. Do you have any you can sell us?”

The stall holder looked at his curl-ended shoes in shame as he confessed, “Sorry, fellas, all I have to sell you is a bowl of jelly, with custard, cream and hundreds and thousands of little multi-coloured sweet bits. I can’t help you. I’ll have to condemn you to a long and lingering death through dehydration.”

The legionnaires were really worried by this point, and they went through the market, stall by stall, asking each stall holder whether they had any water they could sell them, and thus save their lives, but each stall holder gave the same reply, all they had to sell was a bowl of jelly with cream, custard and hundreds and thousands of ulti-coloured little sweet bits.

Dejected and resigned to their grim fate, the legionnaires left the desert market and walked off into the setting sun. As they did so, one turned to the other and said, “That was really odd - a big market in the middle of nowhere, and all they sold was bowls of jelly with custard, cream and hundreds and thousands of multi-coloured little sweet bits.”

The other turned to face his companion and replied, “Yes, it was a trifle bazaar.”

Google Groups: alt.humor.puns
Shaggy Puns
TM
Feb 19, 1998, 3:00:00 AM
There were these two guys stranded in a desert without any water. They had been wandering aimlessly for days until one day they came upon a bustling marketplace - right in the middle of the desert! At first they thought it was a mirage, but when they heard the sounds of the peddlers hawking their wares and the customers squabbling for bargains, they rushed in. They went to the nearest shop and said to the bearded shopkeeper, “O, most esteemed son of the desert, do you have a little water to spare for two parched travellers?” The merchant replied, “I am sorry, effendi, but I cannot help you. All I have are these confections of sponge cake with custard, jelly, fruit and cream.” The travellers went on to the next store and begged the owner, “A thousand greetings, oh glorious vendor of luxury goods. Could you spare us some water?” The reply was, “Please accept my pardons, good sirs, for all I have are these confections of sponge cake with custard, jelly, fruit and cream.” The two men were desperate now, and they grabbed hold of a passing vendor and gasped, “Water..please.” He said, “Ah, it is a great misfortune for me that I cannot assist you. Alas, I possess only these confections of sponge cake with custard, jelly, fruit and cream.” The men, exasperated, left the market. A little later, one of them said, “Odd, wasn’t it; such a big market in the middle of the desert, and all they’re selling is confections of sponge cake with custard, jelly, fruit and cream.” The other remarked, “Yes, it was a trifle bazaar.”

9 September 2000, National Post (Don Mills, ON), pg. W2:
These two guys are lost in the desert. Just when they think they’re going to die of thirst, they chance upon a village where market day is in full swing. They go to the first stall they see and ask if they can buy some water.

“No,” replies the Bedouin stall owner. “I only sell fruit.”

So off they go to the next stall and again they ask for water. “Sorry,” says the merchant, “but I only sell custard.”

“Custard?” one of the guys says to the other. “What kind of place is this?”

By now desperate, they go to the next stall, only to be told, “Sorry, but I only sell jelly.”

Hearing this, one guy turns to the other and says, “This is a trifle bazaar.”

Twitter
Enter name here
@blickbuster
Was in Saudi Arabia recently. Found market selling custard, cream, Swiss roll and 100s & 1000s. It was a trifle bazaar.
7:08 AM · Jun 5, 2009·Twitter Web Client

Twitter
Charlie Weeks-Bell
@junglexpat
Found market stall selling only sponge, jelly, fruit, custard & cream. Very weird. In fact, it was a trifle bazaar! Lol.
9:30 AM · Nov 9, 2009·Twitter Web Client

Google Groups: alt.fan.cecil-adams
Pun on the week
Charlie Pearce
Mar 22, 2010, 5:17:54 PM
(...)
A friend and I were out walking the other day, when we saw three large tents in a field. Being quite thirsty, we walked into the first tent hoping to find a drink, but to our surprise it was full of tables laden with bowls of custard, and nothing else. Undaunted, we wandered into the next tent, but found that there was nothing to be found but bowl after bowl of red jelly. The third tent was no better, as all it had to offer was jugs and jugs of cream.

Disappointed and parched, we carried on walking. “How strange”, I muttered, “why on earth would anybody set up tents selling nothing but custard, jelly and cream?”. My friend pondered for a while, then nodded sagely. “Yes”, he intoned, “it was a trifle bazaar”.

Twitter
Jase
@JM71
(Truncated version of one of my fave jokes ...) Went to a market that sold nothing but Jelly, Custard and Cream. It was a trifle bazaar.
12:03 PM · Jul 22, 2010·TweetDeck

Twitter
Dan
@Dan_M75
What do you call a market that only sells desserts made of layers of cake, fruit, and cream? A trifle bazaar! #masterchef
6:47 AM · May 20, 2011·Hootsuite

Twitter
Dr Jon Sutton
@jonmsutton
Stumbled upon covered marketplace that only sold sponge-based desserts sprinkled with hundreds and thousands. It was a trifle bazaar.
4:18 AM · Jul 6, 2011·Hootsuite

Twitter
James Taylor
@notthatjt
Went to the market but there was only a stall selling jelly, a stall selling custard and a stall selling sponge. It was a trifle bazaar.
6:48 AM · Aug 22, 2012·Godville on iOS

Twitter
MagsyMo
@Magsymo
Went to a market stall in Morocco which sold only custard, jelly and whipped cream. It seemed a “Trifle Bazaar” to me!
8:58 AM · Sep 12, 2012·Twitter for BlackBerry®

Twitter
Ed Bishop
@EdBishopin
In this souk they only sell sponge cake, cherries, cream, sherry and hundreds and thousands.  It’s a trifle bazaar.
10:29 AM · Jun 22, 2013·Twitter for Android

Twitter
Gaz Weetman
@GazWeetman
Once, in Marrakech, I found a market selling only custard, jelly, cream, sponge fingers, sprinkles & brandy. It was a trifle bazaar. #gbbo
3:28 PM · Sep 3, 2013·Twitter for iPhone

Twitter
Chris Milner
@chrismilner
Three stalls in the desert. None sell water. 1 just sells sponge cake. 1 just sells custard. 1 just sells sprinkles. It’s a trifle bazaar.
2:17 PM · Apr 11, 2014·Twitter for Android

Twitter
Shining Wit
@wit_shining
I once went to a weird fête where they only sold desserts made with jello, fruit, blancmange, custard and sprinkles. It was a trifle bazaar.
9:49 PM · Jan 4, 2016·Twitter for iPhone

Twitter
Rob
@StuffByRob
I visited a market that only sold sherry, sponge fingers, fruit jelly, custard and cream. It was very odd. In fact it was a trifle bazaar.
3:11 PM · Mar 16, 2016·Twitter for Android

Twitter
Darren Walsh Puns
@DarrenWalshPuns
Saw a market selling nothing but fruit, sherry, custard and sponge fingers.
It was a trifle bazaar.
1:10 PM · Jan 23, 2017·Hootsuite

Twitter
Rafaël Newman
@raf_newman
Q. What do you call an open air market selling only whipped cream, lady fingers and candied fruit?
A. A trifle bazaar.
5:37 PM · Dec 20, 2018·Twitter for Android

Twitter
Malcolm CoMBE
@MalcolmCombe
Replying to @HJosephineGiles
I once told a school friend a joke involving a surreal visit to three dessert stalls in the Middle East with the punchline being “that was a trifle bazaar” - he got the trifle bit.
12:02 PM · Feb 11, 2020·Twitter Web App

Twitter
Gordon Rice
@IronCodger
Replying to @Lucie_Fur99
Went to a tented market some years ago. Some stalls sold jelly, some sold sponge fingers, others sold sherry and custard.
It was a trifle bazaar!
11:36 AM · Apr 17, 2020·Twitter for iPad

Twitter
𝐍𝐞𝐢𝐥𝐏𝐨𝐥𝐥𝐲𝐓𝐢𝐜𝐤𝐬
@NeilPollyTicks
I’m setting up a market for desserts, focus will be in custard, jelly, sponges and cream. My friends think it’s a trifle bazaar.
#SorryNotSorry
4:26 AM · Sep 9, 2020·Twitter for iPad

Twitter
The Wallington Courier
@wallingtonHamp1
Village shop opens selling custard, fruit, sponge fingers, jelly & cream. It’s a trifle bazaar. #Wallington #Fareham #shops
4:49 AM · May 27, 2021·Twitter for iPhone

Twitter
Philip Thomas
@Philvet123
Replying to @RhCadwaladr
I once went to a market where they sold jelly, sponge, fruit, custard and cream.
Strange, you may think.
It was to be honest a trifle bazaar.
3:41 PM · Jun 6, 2021·Twitter for Android

Twitter
Peter Clarke
@Stuttgart1988
Replying to @pmokane and @philipnolan1
I once found a strange market selling custard, jelly, cream, sherry and Hundreds and Thousands. It was a trifle bazaar.
1:45 PM · Dec 24, 2021·Twitter for iPhone

Twitter
Jon Cudby
@JonCudby
Replying to @simonnread
I once worked in a Middle Eastern market that only sold fruit, sponge, cream and custard. That was a trifle bazaar.
9:34 AM · Feb 1, 2022·Twitter for iPhone

Reddit—Dadjokes
Posted by u/LC_Anderton February 1, 2022
I went to a market that only sold jelly and custard…
It was a trifle bazaar.

Posted by Barry Popik
New York CityRestaurants/Bars/Coffeehouses/Food Stores • Monday, January 31, 2022 • Permalink