Friday, October 25, 2013

Cooking Through ENGLAND - Hasty Pudding!

In our current culinary adventure, "Cooking Through England," one of this week's projects was Hasty Pudding!

This, truly, was something I'd never had before. I didn't even know what it was!

But no matter. I quickly found a promising-looking recipe, and we gave it a whirl. I wasn't expecting anything amazing, so it was to my complete amazement that this dessert was a huge hit in our household, rocketing to the #2 spot in our family recipe rating system, garnering a 4.5 out of 5 score! (I believe that Stottie Cake is still holding the #1 position in our tour of English recipes, with a score of 4.6 - close!)

For the above recipe, I consulted the comments and made the following changes:
  • I reduced the water and brown sugar to 1/3 cup each, and added 1/2 tsp. cinnamon to the sauce.
  • We omitted the nuts (family preference only).
  • I increased the flour to 1 cup.
As I said, it was a hit!

But then things got a bit confusing. Firstly, I noticed - after the fact - that this recipe reads, "It's an old German recipe my family has made for many holidays." 

German recipe? Oops.

And when I consulted our trusty Wikipedia on the subject of hasty pudding, I read:
"Hasty pudding is a pudding or porridge of grains cooked in milk or water."
Okay, that was definitely not what we made - the dish we made is basically sweetened biscuits in a sugar sauce.

(And, as a side note, I have no idea why someone posted a picture of chocolate pudding to go with this recipe. It has nothing to do with chocolate pudding!)

Upon reading further, I found that hasty pudding is a dish of many faces - it has many different meanings, and is present under many guises in many different countries. In American cooking, for example, it is a dish of cornmeal porridge. And:
"Polenta is the Italian version of hasty pudding, with corn substituted for the wheat originally used by the Romans. Mămăligă is the Romanian version, also made with corn."
Thus, one could spend quite a bit of time just making different ethnic versions of hasty pudding!

In the meantime, the version that we tried was excellent, and it was highly enjoyed by the entire family - everyone had seconds!


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