Pudding: A Delicious and Popular Food Around the World

Puddings are often known as desserts in different countries, but the truth is that they are not precisely the same. We can only consider some specific types of desserts as pudding. To put in perspective, puddings are generally the steamed or boiled types of desserts.
To mention a few, white pudding, peas pudding, black pudding, and steak pudding are some of the famous kinds that cross the mind immediately. Read on for more details and interesting facts about different types of delicious food and how they’re different from similar dishes.
What’s pudding?
First of all, let’s see exactly what pudding is.
Despite the diverse set of puddings, all share some common roots. Some believe that what we now consider as pudding is derived initially from dumpling. As dumplings became larger, cooks had to tie them up in a cloth, and therefore, create a pudding.
However, this is not entirely true, as we can see in the book of Elizabeth Raffald (written in 1769) that she calls the big dumplings by the same name dumpling, not pudding. So Where did it first appear?
In the Middle Ages, black pudding and white pudding were joined, and they were made in the belly lining or sausage skin. White pudding at that time had high cereal content combined with suet.
In 1596, Thomas Dalton shared some recipes in his cookery book called The Good Housewife’s Jewel, similar to haggis and black puddings. Also, he mentions the kinds of pudding made in the stomach of animals like carp. Although they consist of spices and dried fruits like currants and even sugar, none were desserts. Having meat puddings with sweet taste seems strange to us now, and we don’t usually eat them, but it was not so at that time!
By the 16th century, houses had small ovens that were not so hot. Ordinary people could bake white pudding slowly, which led to the emergence of baked puddings. On the other hand, people found some alternatives for the gut used for sausages and replaced the animals’ stomach with other containers.
Other findings link puddings with sausages. They refer to the sausages that were brought to Britain by the Romans. Interestingly, this word is taken from the Latin phrase botellus, meaning sausages like the French word boudin.
Therefore, people in the past used the word pudding mainly for the boiled sausages.
Little by little, the British cooks revised their pudding recipes by the 18th century and removed the meat from them.  As the baked and boiled batters got popular, cooks would boil puddings, and the prepared food was just like a cake. Christmas pudding (also known as plum pudding) is an excellent example of these recipes.
After that, sweet puddings, including jam, fruits, and meringue, became common. As the new starchy foods were provided for people, pudding recipes likewise accepted them. Among the savory types, beef steak appeared for the first time, too.
Nowadays, we can find various kinds of puddings both as savory and sweet dishes in different countries across the world. Savory ones often include steamed and boiled dishes of kidney and steak or vegetables and poultry inside suet pastry.
Savory and sweet puddings
When it comes to puddings, the conditions are not the same in all countries.
You should expect dishes that come in different forms other than creamy and chocolate ones in the UK. The Irish and English people use the term “dessert” for sweet dishes, whereas a pudding can either be savory or sweet. On the other hand, Americans call the sweet recipes “dessert” and use the word “pudding” mostly for the creamy types.
As earlier stated out, savory puddings specifically refer to dishes with meat and other ingredients similar to making sausages. Black pudding is a famous savory dish that dates back to King Henry VIII’s time. Yorkshire, suet, kidney, haggis, and steak puddings are some of the other popular items in this category.
Puddings used as desserts are rich sources of nutrition and are mainly based on starch or dairy products. Rice pudding and treacle sponge pudding are two of the popular dishes of this type. Generally speaking, puddings bring a homelier and traditional recipe to mind, and they are often baked.
A dessert doesn’t necessarily have to be baked. Even if baked, it’s lighter and somehow more complicated than its counterpart. When we talk about a dessert, we can consider it more of a confection than a simple recipe prepared at home.
Haggis and black pudding: Two famous savory puddings
The recipe of haggis, as described earlier, is believed to be originally from Rome and ancient Greece. Romans brought it to Britain, and it was then adopted to other ingredients. Historical expeditions have found the earliest Scottish recipes dating back to the 15th century. Haggis is now a widely known property of Scotland with a wide distribution in its different parts.
All the Scottish haggis varieties include cereals and offal and are usually wrapped in an animal’s stomach. The concept is traditionally based on their preservation as the animals’ body’s perishable parts had to be eaten soon. People had no other choice but to preserve them for further use.
Romans are known to be the first nation interested in sausage products, and Scottish people may have used this invention to come up with new recipes, including sheep and oats. The oldest recipe uses the whole stomach of a sheep and fills it with lungs, heart, liver, etc.
Interestingly, the word haggis has French roots and is derived from the verb “hacher,” meaning to chop up. This French originality is believed to be a result of Scotland’s long French influence that lasted until the year 1603.
Black pudding:
Black pudding, also called blood pudding, originally refers to fresh sausages made from pig’s blood combined with thickeners. The originality of this dish is also believed to be Ancient Greece.
The thickening agent used in this pudding is, in most cases, cereal. The name refers to the darkened color of blood when it’s cooked. This savory pudding is most favorable in England and Midlands, and many consider Lancashire the capital of black pudding. Other countries across Europe likewise include it in their cuisines, too.
Black pudding is typically the oldest kind of sausage. It’s interesting to know that there is a reference to a portion of food similar to black pudding in Homer’s Odyssey. Written around 1000 BC, there is a part in book 18 that describes a stomach filled with fat and blood and roasted by fire.
In medieval ages, families of all classes kept pigs, and they were often slaughtered in fall. Therefore, black puddings were seen everywhere. Kiszka is another ancient blood pudding with Polish originality since Poland’s people were great fans of pork products in the medieval ages.


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