What does junket mean and Where does the word “junket” come from?

Originally a “junket” was a creel, a basket of woven rush in which to catch or carry fish.

The Norman-French word was jonket or jonquette, from jonc, a rush. But even before the Normans invaded England some housewife had discovered that the same basket, before being contaminated with fish, could be used in preparing a kind of cheese.

This cheese then became junket. Incidentally, when served with a dressing of scalded cream, the dish is known as “curds and cream” in some parts of England.

The rush basket also suggested, to our forefathers, the meal that could be carried in it, with the result that junket came to denote a sumptuous repast or merry feast.

We in the United States have carried that notion still further, and that which originally denoted a rush basket now embraces a picnic or, especially, a pleasurable excursion.