It's the sheer hypocrisy that gets me: this pretence that the last course of a meal - the sweet bit - is of no particular weight or importance.
Why do we call a gorgeous dish of fruit whipped up with sugar and cream a fool. What's foolish about it?
If you just mix the fruit and cream together with meringue then it's worse, for then it becomes merely a mess. It's only a mess if you drop it on the floor!
And, that meringue...why do we use meringue as a synonym for bad-taste froth, as in wedding dresses? Meringues aren't frilly...you'd be more accurate calling that sort of dress a sea-slug:
photo of a pair of lettuce sea slugs by Nhobgood (talk) Nick Hobgood
Then there's the lovely pudding called flummery, which started off as a sort of sweet set porridge but now means unnecessary nonsense; and trifle, a large glass dish stacked with fruit, jelly, sponge, alcohol, cream and custard. A trifle is the last thing it is, particularly if one lands on your foot.
And so it goes on: a crumble is much more than the bit that crumbles; and a pie is probably named after the various bits of nonsense collected by a magpie.
...it does soothe away some the guilt about eating the stuff, doesn't it?
Word To Use Today: dessert. This word comes from the French desservoir. to clear away the table.
Which just goes to show that this hypocrisy isn't purely English.