Pudding

Pudding

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Pudding most often refers to a dessert
Dessert
In cultures around the world, dessert is a course that typically comes at the end of a meal, usually consisting of sweet food. The word comes from the French language as dessert and this from Old French desservir, "to clear the table" and "to serve." Common Western desserts include cakes, biscuits,...

, but it can also be a savory
Umami
Umami , popularly referred to as savoriness, is one of the five basic tastes together with sweet, sour, bitter, and salty.-Etymology:Umami is a loanword from the Japanese meaning "pleasant savory taste". This particular writing was chosen by Professor Kikunae Ikeda from umai "delicious" and mi ...

 dish
Dish (food)
A dish in gastronomy is a specific food preparation, a "distinct article or variety of food", with cooking finished, and ready to eat, or be served.A "dish" may be served on dishware, or may be eaten out of hand; but breads are generally not called "dishes"....

.

In the United States
United States
The United States of America is a federal constitutional republic comprising fifty states and a federal district...

, pudding characteristically denotes a sweet milk-based dessert similar in consistency to egg-based custard
Custard
Custard is a variety of culinary preparations based on a cooked mixture of milk or cream and egg yolk. Depending on how much egg or thickener is used, custard may vary in consistency from a thin pouring sauce , to a thick pastry cream used to fill éclairs. The most common custards are used as...

s, though it may also refer to other types such as bread and rice pudding.

In the United Kingdom
United Kingdom
The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern IrelandIn the United Kingdom and Dependencies, other languages have been officially recognised as legitimate autochthonous languages under the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages...

 and some Commonwealth
Commonwealth of Nations
The Commonwealth of Nations, normally referred to as the Commonwealth and formerly known as the British Commonwealth, is an intergovernmental organisation of fifty-four independent member states...

 countries, pudding refers to rich, fairly homogeneous starch- or dairy-based desserts such as rice pudding
Rice pudding
Rice pudding is a dish made from rice mixed with water or milk and sometimes other ingredients such as cinnamon and raisins. Different variants are used for either desserts or dinners. When used as a dessert, it is commonly combined with a sweetener such as sugar.-Rice pudding around the world:Rice...

 and Christmas pudding
Christmas pudding
Christmas pudding is a pudding traditionally served on Christmas Day . It has its origins in medieval England, and is sometimes known as plum pudding or plum duff, though this can also refer to other kinds of boiled pudding involving dried fruit.-Basics:Many households have their own recipe for...

, or, informally, any sweet dish after the main course. The word pudding in this context is also used as a synonym for the dessert course. The word is also used for savory dishes such as Yorkshire pudding
Yorkshire pudding
Yorkshire Pudding is a dish that originated in Yorkshire, England. It is made from batter and usually served with roast meat and gravy.-History:...

, black pudding, suet pudding
Suet pudding
A Suet pudding is a traditional food containing suet. Many variations are strongly associated with British cuisine. Recipes vary greatly and can be desserts or savoury courses...

 and steak and kidney pudding
Steak and kidney pudding
Steak and kidney pudding is a savoury pudding made by enclosing diced steak and beef, lamb's or pig's kidney pieces in gravy in a suet pastry....

.

The word pudding is believed to come from the French boudin, originally from the Latin botellus, meaning "small sausage," referring to encased meats used in Medieval European puddings.

Baked, steamed and boiled puddings


The original pudding was formed by mixing various ingredients with a grain product or other binder such as butter
Butter
Butter is a dairy product made by churning fresh or fermented cream or milk. It is generally used as a spread and a condiment, as well as in cooking applications, such as baking, sauce making, and pan frying...

, flour
Flour
Flour is a powder which is made by grinding cereal grains, other seeds or roots . It is the main ingredient of bread, which is a staple food for many cultures, making the availability of adequate supplies of flour a major economic and political issue at various times throughout history...

, cereal
Cereal
Cereals are grasses cultivated for the edible components of their grain , composed of the endosperm, germ, and bran...

, eggs
Egg (food)
Eggs are laid by females of many different species, including birds, reptiles, amphibians, and fish, and have probably been eaten by mankind for millennia. Bird and reptile eggs consist of a protective eggshell, albumen , and vitellus , contained within various thin membranes...

, suet
Suet
Suet is raw beef or mutton fat, especially the hard fat found around the loins and kidneys.Suet has a melting point of between 45° and 50°C and congelation between 37° and 40°C....

, resulting in a solid mass. These puddings are baked, steamed or boiled.

Depending on its ingredients such a pudding may be served as a part of the main course or as a dessert.

Boiled pudding was a common main course aboard ships in the Royal Navy
Royal Navy
The Royal Navy is the naval warfare service branch of the British Armed Forces. Founded in the 16th century, it is the oldest service branch and is known as the Senior Service...

 in the 18th and 19th centuries. Pudding was used as the primary dish in which daily rations of flour and suet were prepared.

Suet pudding


Steamed pies consisting of a filling completely enclosed by suet pastry are also known as puddings. These may be sweet or savory and include such dishes as steak and kidney pudding
Steak and kidney pudding
Steak and kidney pudding is a savoury pudding made by enclosing diced steak and beef, lamb's or pig's kidney pieces in gravy in a suet pastry....

.

Creamy puddings



The second and newer type of pudding consists of sugar
Sugar
Sugar is a class of edible crystalline carbohydrates, mainly sucrose, lactose, and fructose, characterized by a sweet flavor.Sucrose in its refined form primarily comes from sugar cane and sugar beet...

, milk
Milk
Milk is a white liquid produced by the mammary glands of mammals. It is the primary source of nutrition for young mammals before they are able to digest other types of food. Early-lactation milk contains colostrum, which carries the mother's antibodies to the baby and can reduce the risk of many...

, and a thickening agent such as cornstarch
Cornstarch
Corn starch, cornstarch, cornflour or maize starch is the starch of the corn grain obtained from the endosperm of the corn kernel.-History:...

, gelatin
Gelatin
Gelatin is a translucent, colorless, brittle , flavorless solid substance, derived from the collagen inside animals' skin and bones. It is commonly used as a gelling agent in food, pharmaceuticals, photography, and cosmetic manufacturing. Substances containing gelatin or functioning in a similar...

, eggs
Egg (food)
Eggs are laid by females of many different species, including birds, reptiles, amphibians, and fish, and have probably been eaten by mankind for millennia. Bird and reptile eggs consist of a protective eggshell, albumen , and vitellus , contained within various thin membranes...

, rice
Rice
Rice is the seed of the monocot plants Oryza sativa or Oryza glaberrima . As a cereal grain, it is the most important staple food for a large part of the world's human population, especially in East Asia, Southeast Asia, South Asia, the Middle East, and the West Indies...

 or tapioca
Tapioca
Tapioca is a starch extracted Manihot esculenta. This species, native to the Amazon, Brazil, Colombia, Venezuela, Cuba, Puerto Rico, Haiti, the Dominican Republic, Honduras, and most of the West Indies, is now cultivated worldwide and has many names, including cassava, manioc, aipim,...

 to create a sweet, creamy dessert. These puddings are made either by simmering on top of the stove in a saucepan or double boiler
Double boiler
A double boiler, also known as a bain Marie, is a stove top apparatus used to cook delicate sauces such as beurre blanc, to melt chocolate without burning or seizing, or cook any other thick liquid or porridge that would normally burn if not stirred constantly. It consists of an upper vessel...

 or by baking in an oven
Oven
An oven is a thermally insulated chamber used for the heating, baking or drying of a substance. It is most commonly used for cooking. Kilns, and furnaces are special-purpose ovens...

, often in a bain-marie
Bain-marie
A bain-marie is a French term for a piece of equipment used in science, industry, and cooking to heat materials gently and gradually to fixed temperatures, or to keep materials warm over a period of time.- Description :...

. These puddings are easily scorched on the stovetop, which is why a double boiler is often used; microwave oven
Microwave oven
A microwave oven is a kitchen appliance that heats food by dielectric heating, using microwave radiation to heat polarized molecules within the food...

s are also now often used to avoid this problem and to reduce stirring.

Creamy puddings are typically served chilled, but a few, such as zabaglione
Zabaglione
Zabaione , is an Italian dessert made with egg yolks, sugar, a sweet wine , and sometimes whole eggs. It is a very light custard, which has been whipped to incorporate a large amount of air. Zabaglione is traditionally served with fresh figs...

 and rice pudding
Rice pudding
Rice pudding is a dish made from rice mixed with water or milk and sometimes other ingredients such as cinnamon and raisins. Different variants are used for either desserts or dinners. When used as a dessert, it is commonly combined with a sweetener such as sugar.-Rice pudding around the world:Rice...

, may be served warm. Instant puddings do not require boiling and can therefore be prepared much quicker. Kraft Foods
Kraft Foods
Kraft Foods Inc. is an American confectionery, food and beverage conglomerate. It markets many brands in more than 170 countries. 12 of its brands annually earn more than $1 billion worldwide: Cadbury, Jacobs, Kraft, LU, Maxwell House, Milka, Nabisco, Oscar Mayer, Philadelphia, Trident, Tang...

, under its gelatin dessert
Gelatin dessert
Gelatin desserts are desserts made with sweetened and flavored gelatin. They can be made by combining plain gelatin with other ingredients or by using a premixed blend of gelatin with additives...

 brand
Brand
The American Marketing Association defines a brand as a "Name, term, design, symbol, or any other feature that identifies one seller's good or service as distinct from those of other sellers."...

 Jell-O
Jell-O
Jell-O is a brand name belonging to U.S.-based Kraft Foods for a number of gelatin desserts, including fruit gels, puddings and no-bake cream pies. The brand's popularity has led to it being used as a generic term for gelatin dessert across the U.S. and Canada....

, is the primary producer of pudding mixes and prepared puddings in North America.

This pudding terminology is common in North America and some European countries such as the Netherlands, whilst in Britain egg-thickened puddings are considered custard
Custard
Custard is a variety of culinary preparations based on a cooked mixture of milk or cream and egg yolk. Depending on how much egg or thickener is used, custard may vary in consistency from a thin pouring sauce , to a thick pastry cream used to fill éclairs. The most common custards are used as...

s and starch-thickened puddings called blancmange
Blancmange
Blancmange is a sweet dessert commonly made with milk or cream and sugar thickened with gelatin, cornstarch or Irish moss, and often flavored with almonds. It is usually set in a mould and served cold. Although traditionally white, blancmanges are frequently given a pink color as well...

.

List of types of pudding



Savory



Dessert




Creamy puddings



Non-pudding desserts


In these examples, the word pudding is used in the British sense meaning "any dessert," rather than the specific puddings discussed above.
  • Bakewell pudding, also known as a Bakewell tart
  • Queen of puddings
    Queen of Puddings
    Queen of Puddings is a traditional British dessert, consisting of a baked, breadcrumb-thickened mixture, spread with jam and topped with meringue....

    , a baked, breadcrumb-thickened mixture, spread with jam and topped with meringue,

Cultural references

  • The proverb "The proof of the pudding's in the eating" dates back to at least the 17th century.

  • Pudd'nhead Wilson
    Pudd'nhead Wilson
    Pudd'nhead Wilson is a novel by Mark Twain. It was serialized in The Century Magazine , before being published as a novel in 1894.-Plot:...

    written by Mark Twain
    Mark Twain
    Samuel Langhorne Clemens , better known by his pen name Mark Twain, was an American author and humorist...

     reflects the term's use as a metaphor for the gray matter
    Grey matter
    Grey matter is a major component of the central nervous system, consisting of neuronal cell bodies, neuropil , glial cells and capillaries. Grey matter contains neural cell bodies, in contrast to white matter, which does not and mostly contains myelinated axon tracts...

     of a fool
    Foolishness
    Foolishness is the lack of wisdom. In this sense it differs from stupidity, which is the lack of intelligence. An act of foolishness is sometimes referred to as a folly....

    .