Have you ever thought to yourself, “Man, I could go for some wholesome British holiday food right now”? Well, if it’s February 12th, then you’re in luck because it’s National Plum Pudding Day, the day when we recognize one of history’s most cherished desserts. Plum pudding is a traditional British dessert typically served around Christmas time. Plum Pudding Day celebrates the values, traditions, and history of the long-standing festive delight that has warmed the tables and hearts of families around the world for generations.
History of Plum Pudding Day
It isn’t exactly known who created Plum Pudding Day, but we can wager a guess as to why. Hint: it probably has something to do with eating pudding! Plum pudding, also known as figgy pudding or Christmas pudding, has a past dating as far back as the 1400s. Contrary to its name, plum pudding doesn’t have any plums in it! Plums were a trendy food during the time of Elizabeth I and eventually became the name for all dried fruits.
The making of plum pudding during the Victorian era took on the form of family Christmas tradition. The Sunday before Advent came to be known as “Stir-up Sunday,” in which the entire family would gather together and take turns stirring the pudding. The name comes from a prayer read at church on that Sunday. Typical ingredients for the recipe of that time included suet, brown sugar, raisins and currants, candied orange peel, eggs, breadcrumbs, nutmeg, cloves, allspice and alcohol.
Plum pudding’s origins come from meat! The dish evolved from earlier “pyes” and pottages that contained various meats and veggies before shifting over to a sweeter palate.
Plum pudding, pagan worship? So it may seem, dear reader. In the 1600s, English political leader Oliver Cromwell banned plum pudding and other such holly jolly Christmas features (nativity scenes, caroling and Yule logs) for bearing overtones of Druidic paganism. History is sometimes stranger than fiction.
A properly contained plum pudding can keep for up to a year or more.
These days it’s not uncommon to cook charms into the pudding. A silver sixpence or horseshoe can bring prosperity or good luck to the finder
The term “Christmas pudding” was first used in the 1858 Anthony Trollope novel, Dr. Thorne.
How to Celebrate Plum Pudding Day
Honestly, the best way to celebrate is to eat some plum pudding. There are store-made ones, pre-packaged and ready to go if you just want to rip right into one. There are also plenty of recipes you can try out if you’re keen on whipping one up yourself. Here are just a few to get you started!
Plum Pudding Day is about connection and sharing. The idea is to spend time with those you hold dear or to remember them if you’re far from home. A plum pudding is not just a dessert. It’s a honeyed structure capable of unifying people across miles of ocean and land. It’s a slice of home. Come share one with us!