British Pudding Day Date in the current year: November 9, 2024

British Pudding Day Most Americans associate the word “pudding” with a light, milk-based dessert that resembles a custard or a mousse. However, in the United Kingdom and some other Commonwealth countries, this word is used to describe an impressive variety of sweet and savory dishes. British Pudding Day, observed annually on November 9, celebrates all of them.

The Oxford English Dictionary states that the word “pudding” dates to the 13th century. It originally referred to a dish consisting of an animal’s entrails or stomach stuffed with a mixture of meat, offal, oatmeal, suet, and various seasonings. The famous proverb “The proof of pudding is in the eating”, often shortened to “The proof is in the pudding”, dates back at least to the 14th century, so the pudding has been around for hundreds of years.

The term “pudding” was originally used to describe savory dishes made using a process similar to sausages, in which ingredients in mostly liquid or finely minced form are encased and then boiled or steamed to set the contents. The most famous examples of those early savory puddings that have survived to this day are black pudding (a type of blood sausage) and haggis (a traditional Scottish dish in which a mixture of sheep’s offal and other ingredients is encased in the sheep’s stomach).

Another popular type of savory pudding is suet pudding, made with suet and wheat flour. Suet pudding was a common main course aboard Royal Navy ships during the 18th and 19th centuries because flour and suet were part of daily rations. Suet pudding was originally a meat dish, but at some point, a similar cooking technique started to be used to make dessert puddings. For example, the world-famous Christmas pudding is a type of suet pudding.

Over time, the British have started to use the word “pudding” for a wide range of steamed, boiled, and sometimes baked dishes. Popular baked puddings include, for example, Yorkshire pudding and bread and butter pudding.

Although savory puddings are still a thing, and some are actually quite popular (black pudding, for example, is traditionally served as a part of the full English breakfast), today the word “pudding” is primarily associated with dessert unless explicitly stated otherwise. British dessert puddings are either steamed cake mixtures like treacle sponge pudding or cabinet pudding, or rich starchy desserts like rice pudding.

In North America, as we’ve already mentioned above, the term “pudding” is typically used to describe creamy milk-based desserts that often contain cornstarch, gelatin, tapioca, or another thickening agent. This is why we have British Pudding Day: to differentiate traditional British puddings from their counterparts from the other side of the pond.

The origins of British Pudding Day are unclear, but don’t let this stop you from observing this amazing holiday. Whether sweet or savory, British pudding definitely deserves to be celebrated. November 9 is the perfect day to experiment with pudding recipes and cook a delicious meal. Don’t forget to share the photos and recipe of your pudding on social media with the hashtag #BritishPuddingDay to spread the word about the holiday!

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