Christmas pudding in England is freakin’ weird

Posted on December 14, 2009 by yankeebean

I love it here – England is awesome in so many ways – but desserts at Christmas is NOT one of them.

I’ll never forget the first time I heard about Christmas Pudding… Made ages in advance, CHOCK full of dried fruit and nuts (like every English dessert on earth), full of booze, left to sit for weeks, steamed for hours ‘on the day’, LIT ON FIRE and then eaten with brandy butter (or, as I like to call it, booze cream)

After the description of Christmas Pudding was delivered, in monologue, by Mr Nice Guy – the silence of disbelief descended.

Was I curious about it?  Hell yeah.
Did I want to try it?  Abso-freakin’-lutely
Did I enjoy it? *shudder*

Dude, I have freakin’ FLASHBACKS about that action.  And after making the effort to adapt to Marmite, I really don’t feel the need to try and force the Christmas Pudding issue.

A Christmas Pudding being flamed after brandy has been poured over it - Picture courtesy of Wikipedia

A Christmas Pudding being flamed after brandy has been poured over it – Picture courtesy of Wikipedia

Admittedly, I’ve never been a big fan of lots of dried fruit, and peel makes me wanna gag.  I like traditional American desserts which involve a lot of sugar and, sometimes, not much else.  Christmas cookies, baby!  Sugar and E numbers – what more could you freakin’ want?? :D  Or pie, in any formation… with ice cream (or custard if you want a little ‘English’ on the side).

But don’t worry – if you’re at your in-laws for Christmas, you don’t have to ’cause a scene’ – there’s a way out without anyone getting hurt.

For anyone struggling with the lack of Christmas cookies and pie – repeat after me “Could you please pass the chocolate log?”

(Or you can fake a nut allergy) :D

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What Others Are Saying

  1. Burt Racoon December 24, 2012 at 6:33 pm

    Christmas pudding used to be called Empire pudding because it was made from ingredients from all over the British empire.

    I don’t really like it myself. But for the Victorians it was really new and interesting to have something made from ingredients from across the globe.

    • yankeebean December 30, 2012 at 2:01 pm

      At least Empire Pudding has an unintentional Star Wars reference :)

  2. Kevin March 23, 2011 at 11:36 am

    Well the fear of fruit is wide spread I see. Myself I have been making English stile pud every year for some 35 years… everyone loves it it has dried fruits of all climes re constituted in brandy. Raisins, sultanas, currants, mango, paw paw, cherries, ginger, figs, dates, pineapple, cranberries, gojie berries, apple even blue berries. The resultant pud is spectacular. You folks do not know what you are missing!!!

  3. NYJenzinUK June 15, 2010 at 10:33 pm

    Oh my God!!! (In my most American accent possible!) Christmas pudding makes me SO sad. I love sticky toffee pudding, but English desserts in general have been very difficult to adapt to. At one of my first ever dinners with my English guy’s parents, the dessert menu on the table listed “spotted dick” — I couldn’t help it — I burst out laughing. His parents asked him what I was laughing at — he told them. They still looked at me in confusion; his mom finally asking, “Don’t you have spotted dick in America?” I couldn’t help it. I answered: “Yeah, but we call it syphilis.” They still bring that up at dinners out. And Marmite? It’s a little jar of death. How does that qualify as a sandwich filling?

  4. Jane January 20, 2010 at 4:10 am

    My English boyfriend came for Christmas and brought Christmas pudding.. I was nervous but I think lighting the cake on fire really impressed the crowd! …Though I did have to force it down.

  5. Pingback: Why are you singing ‘Away In A Manger’ like that?? | She's Not From Yorkshire

  6. Christiana (US meets UK) December 17, 2009 at 3:28 pm

    You guys are nuts ;) I have a serious craving for Banofee pie (best idea ever!) and while my British husband dislikes Christmas pudding – I’m the one missing it in America! To be fair, that may have something to do with the lack of custard on our US desserts… esp boozy brandy sauce…

  7. Alison December 16, 2009 at 3:52 pm

    As a Brit living in California I would have to agree with you on the desserts thing. I LOVE Christmas pudding (once a year) and make my own mince pies every year, but I do know that you have to grow up with that cloying rich, fruity goodness to like it. The first time my husband (American) ate Christmas pudding he almost gagged, asking why you would want a 10lb pudding at the end of a HUGE meal. He’s quite right, but quite frankly I feel the same way about pumpkin pie after Thanksgiving – I think you have to grow up with that too!!

    Go for a Yule log, much sweeter and less offensive!

  8. Kristy December 16, 2009 at 12:22 am

    I can choke it down if it’s covered with lots of thick lovely custard.

  9. Rachel December 15, 2009 at 6:24 am

    My super sweet boyfriend has been boozing up a Christmas pudding since October in his eagerness for my arrival in England later this week. After he described it to me, I realized that I’m going to have to pull an Oscar-winning performance to get through this one. Madera? Fruit and peels? Oh my. The good news is that he and I are doing 5 different types of American Christmas cookies for his extended family so we’ll have some other treats around. On the topic of sweet baked goods — I keep thinking that an American bakery might do really well in the city I’m moving. There seem to be a plethora of savory baked goods. I’m thinking American cookies, cupcakes, apple dumplings, fruit pies, and cakes. I bet that there’s a mint to be made with those things given how well they’ve been received by everyone I know over there!

  10. Steve Shawcross December 14, 2009 at 9:43 pm

    What are your views on mince pies Yankeebean? I can’t say I’m a fan of Christmas pudding either, I usually have profiteroles instead– followed by cheese and biscuits!

  11. Kim December 14, 2009 at 10:21 am

    Sometimes I wonder if Brits really like it or if they feel they’re supposed to like it so they eat it. I agree that there is an EXTREME lack of acceptable Christmas desserts in England. When I was working people would bring mince pies in EVERY DAY. When that daily email hit my inbox I’d gag a little.

  12. Jenny December 14, 2009 at 9:32 am

    My husband has been talking about Christmas pudding for months. I just can’t say I want to try it. Seeing all the decorated cakes lining the shelves at Sainsbury’s just makes me sick. What’s in them that they don’t go bad sitting out for months? Can’t be good, right? … We’re doing an American/British Christmas dinner (since Thanksgiving went over so well), so dessert (at least for me) will be apple pie and vanilla ice cream :)

  13. Dreamer…unrealistic?…do i care? December 14, 2009 at 8:45 am

    i second this!

  14. Moni December 14, 2009 at 7:39 am

    I grew up in Bermuda, where we retain many British Christmas traditions, including Pantomime, crackers, and of course pudding! Like you, I never liked dried fruit, so I never eat fruit cake, pudding, etc. Fortunately, we also have sweeter traditions like delicious pound cake!

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