The history of the plum pudding is a complicated one. History, no matter of its topic, is told by many people with differing experiences and varying points of view so it’s no wonder that “facts” are often formed by a convergence of different tales and popular lore.
Even though I believe plum pudding should never be savoured for just one day of the year, traditionally it is eaten on Christmas day. It is also known as Christmas pudding and has stood the test of cultural evolution and changing tastes; consumed by many across the globe since medieval times.
Plum pudding is a boiled pudding that resembles a cake because of the use of flour and binding ingredients. Most foods are not invented; they evolve and pudding is no exception. Plum pudding is likely to have evolved from a dish called plum pottage, which included preserved meat, breadcrumbs, sandalwood, and of course raisins and prunes.
OK, I still hear you asking, “so where are the plums?”.
Some historical texts will tell you that some English medieval plum puddings or Christmas puddings included nuts and dried fruits… such as plums.
As a pudding expert, I’m going to tell you as a matter of fact that these ancient puddings did not include plums. It’s likely that the name plum pudding was created because of the pre-Victorian use of the word “plum” instead of prunes or raisins.
If you’ve been suffering from constant curiosity over the perennial question of “why”, “why is it called plum pudding when there are no plums it?”, you can now impress others with your knowledge by sharing the historical tale of the delectable plumb pudding.