Pudding means different things to different people. I always thought it meant a sweet, wobbly substance, like caramel custard. However, the term ‘pudding’ covers a wide range of foods, from sweet to savory. Pudding as a term for savory food is mainly in the United Kingdom or Commonwealth countries, while the rest of the people probably consider it a sweet dish.
Firstly, the type I associate pudding with more. It is sweet, milk-based and eaten as a dessert. One of the more well-known varieties is crème caramel. It has a consistency similar to custard, which is why ‘custard’ is another name for it.
Next, there is plum pudding. It is another sweet pudding, made with sugar, spices and fruits. Surprisingly, there is no plum in plum pudding, the name actually referring to the raisins in it. The pudding is often eaten around Christmas, hence its alternate name, Christmas pudding. It can be considered a British dish as it originated in England and has since been introduced to many countries like Australia by British colonists.
Though not strictly served as dessert, rice pudding often has sugar or syrups added to its base of rice. Depending on which variety, it may also contain milk. Rice pudding is a very widespread dish in the world and in Southeast Asia, it can be called glutinous rice porridge.
Next, savory puddings. Yorkshire pudding is one that I have personally tried to make. The result was acceptable, but honestly I’ve tasted better. Don’t be put off though! It is likely that I am just bad at baking. In my opinion, it’s a bit like an oily bread. It is made with a batter of eggs, flour and water which is poured into preheated muffin tins containing oil. It can be used to soak up gravy during meals, much like bread, and originates in England.
There is another savory pudding from England, one which may disgust some. Black pudding. It is made of pork blood along with other ingredients like pork fat or oats. Black pudding can also be considered as a type of sausage. If you don’t feel like eating blood, you can try white pudding. It is very similar to its bloody counterpart, only it does not contain the liquid which gives the latter its red hue.
Pudding can really be considered a very popular dish, because almost everyone has probably consumed one of its many varieties. So whether you like custards or blood sausages, you have the humble pudding to thank.