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Christmas pudding

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Christmas pudding

Is this an icon?


Christmas pudding

If you had to eat the 15th-century dish that Christmas pudding or plum pudding is thought to come from, you might feel tempted to cancel Christmas altogether. Plum pottage was a sloppy mix of meat, vegetables and fruit served at the beginning of a meal – a far cry from the dessert that we know. Over time, the meat and veg disappeared, and the traditional Christmas pudding recipe was in place as a festive dessert by the 19th century. Some recipes still include a lone carrot, a reminder of its savoury origins. It’s traditionally made on "Stir-up Sunday", the last Sunday before Advent. Nobody seems to know for sure when cooks started throwing inedible trinkets into the mix, but beans, buttons, rings, coins and thimbles have all been added at some time or other – and they all carry a special message for the finder. Tradition also dictates that everyone in the family should stir the pudding as it’s being made, so they can make a wish.


Your comments

After reading its recipe, for lots of our people it seems very unimaginable, similarly as the cake from a very famous and popular short story for children "How the Cat and the Dog Were Making a Cake" by renowned Czech writer of 1st half of 20th century Karel Čapek.

Pavel Racek

I love Christmas Pudding, both as food and as an icon of England. Our modern recipe, the current (no pun) expression of a tradition going back hundreds of years, calls for sultanas from the middle east, citrus peel from Spain, spices from Africa and India, sugar and rum from the Caribean. These days even the flour will come from Canada, and I usually add Guiness from Ireland. This is exactly how I experience living in England: this is why I love my home and my culture! Can the people who object to curries and Chinese takeaway please grow up!
Paul Fogarty

Dark and rich, strong and spicy, this dried fruit concoction evokes as many memories for us as it contains ingredients. And as with most great British traditions, the Christmas pud originates from medieval times. Ancestors of the Christmas pudding or 'plum pottage' can be traced to the early 1400s and weren't actually associated with Christmas at all. They contained meat, root vegetables, dried fruit and spices and were served at the beginning of the meal. As new kinds of dried fruit became available the pudding evolved and meat was slowly phased out and replaced by suet - a hard fat that surrounds the kidneys in cows and sheep. By the Victorian era the recipe we know today was well established.
Steve Ward

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I believe rice, peas and jerk chicken is an Icon of England.

Ade Adeluwoye