Christmas (or Plum) Pudding is the traditional end to the British Christmas dinner. But what we think of as Christmas Pudding, is not what it was initially lIke.
The very first version of Christmas pudding originated in the 14th century. The British made porridge called “frumenty” made of beef and mutton with raisins, wines, currants, and spices – quite a collection of tastes. At that time, pudding tended to be more like soup and was eaten in the time of Christmas preparation.
By the end of the 14th century, frumenty had gone through several names, including plum pudding, Christmas pudding, or just Pud. After the 16th century, dried fruit became more available, and the pudding slowly shifted from savory to sweet.
Plum pudding became the customary Christmas dessert around 1650, but in 1664 the Puritans in England attempted to ban it. It’s said that the Puritans thought Christmas pudding to be ‘sinfully rich’ and ‘unfit for God-fearing people.’
In 1714, King George I re-established it as part of the Christmas meal, having tasted and enjoyed Plum Pudding. By Victorian times, Christmas Puddings had changed into something similar to the ones that are eaten today.
For Victorian citizens of the British Empire, the Christmas pudding was a summation of their conception of the world: a globelike mass, studded with savory bits from distant colonies, bound together by a steamed and settled matrix of Englishness.
Over the years, many superstitions have surrounded Christmas Puddings. One notion says that the pudding should be made with 13 ingredients to represent Jesus and His Disciples and that every member of the family should take turns to stir the pudding with a wooden spoon from east to west, in honor of the Wise Men and their journey in that direction.
The custom of eating Christmas pudding was carried to many parts of the world by British colonists.
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