Friday, 3 June 2016

Grumpy thoughts about pudding, from an expatriate Limey

I read a news article today which included the words  "the proof is in the pudding".  Many American writers and broadcasters say this  - but  it is nonsense,

The saying, correctly spoken or written is "the proof of the pudding is in the eating".

In other words, you do not know if a pudding is good until you eat it.

In Britain (and  in some Commonwealth countries) "pudding" has two meanings.

1,  It can be a reference to any dessert.  (for instance, at a restaurant in Vietnam I came across  a couple who said "we are having ice-cream for our pudding"  I knew at once that they were Brits.

"Pudding" for dessert is hardly ever used these days. Middle and Upper Class Brits will refer to "dessert".  Working class Brits will say "afters".

2, There are also sweet and savoury dishes which are specifically called puddings.

Here  are some of them




Spotted Dick pudding (suet based)  now for tender ears called Spotted Dog pudding



Sticky Toffee Pudding.





Christmas Pudding.  Cooked (steamed)  with suet in November, and then left to marinate until Christmas Day.  Utterly delicious (unlike the Supermarket imitations) .  I know, because my Mum and my older sisters used to make them.









Bread and butter pudding , a good way to use up stale bread.


Bread pudding, also made with stale bread. "Waste not want not"








Rice pudding, often Sunday "afters"  in our home.  Before milk was homogenized  the cream would rise to the  top and
then form a nice browned crust.






Black pudding (often called Blood Pudding in the USA).  My Mum never cooked and served this, but these days I see it as essential in  a full British or Irish breakfast.








Steak and kidney pudding  (suet based), and steamed   If made with regular flour based pastry and baked  it is steak and kidney pie,  

Many Americans blanch  at the very thought of kidneys.  In an good steak and kidney pudding or pie the kidneys add a wee bit of rich flavour to an otherwise bland pudding or pie.

See this from the Net


The thing that raises the pudding head and shoulders above all other pie pretenders is, in my opinion, suet. This thick, creamy fat encases the kidneys, and gives the pastry a surprising lightness thanks to its high melting point – the shell has already set by the time the suet dissolves, leaving a pattern of tiny air holes in its place.

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The greatest UK and Ireland pudding is Yorkshire Pudding,  

Some fifty two years ago I had the "real thing" in Yorkshire,

The beef (with lots of good fat) was placed on an oven rack, and the fat dripped down onto a baking pan in which was the Yorkshire pudding batter,  Cooked well, hot, and crispy,  this Yorkshire Pud. was served before the main dish,

'Twas the best I ever ate.  I will never again enjoy such fabulous Yorkshire Pudding.

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Indeed  "the proof of the pudding is in the eating"














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