Presently, what people think of Christmas pudding as, is not what it primarily was.
With its origin in the 14th century, the meal consisted of a type of porridge known as; ‘frumenty.’
It contained an assorted mixture of beef, mutton, prunes, currants, wines, raisins, and spices.
After its full preparation (recipe of Christmas Pudding), the combination would appear a thick soup-like meal.
This traditional food associated with the British Christmas ceremonial dinner. The people then took the pudding as a form of fasting, and towards getting ready for the Christmas celebrations.
While the pudding connected to the Christmas season, some cultures associated it with the Easter season.
During this time, people decorated the top part of the dessert with the attractive twig of the holly tree.
It symbolized a remembrance of the crown of thorns that Jesus wore on his head when it nearly approached his death.
Occasionally, there was the pouring of an alcoholic drink over the pudding to make a magnificent display.
Its representation was that of the love and power of Jesus. Besides, people associated the holly tree with such special moments of remembering Jesus.
They planted them close to their houses, believing that the trees contained healing powers and brought luck to families.
Modification of the Pudding
Later around 1595, people made an assortment on to the pudding. They thickened it with breadcrumbs, eggs, and dried fruit.
The frumenty received a better flavor, and its name changed to ‘plum pudding.’ The valued meal had the accompaniment of spirits and beer.
Many people embraced this Tradition, and by the year 1650, the plum pudding became a habitual Christmas dessert.
However, in 1664, the Puritans presented the meal as an evil custom and therefore banned it.
Sometime later, King George, I tasted the plum pudding and enjoyed the delicacy. In 1714, he reformed it as part of the Christmas food.
People continued to value this special meal for a long time. The pudding then changed around Victorian times to become something close to what people eat today.
By then, the rich would prepare the Christmas pudding to appear jelly-like.
The ready meal formed the shapes of castles or towers. Conversely, ordinary people had their pudding as ball-shaped.
Whenever the meal was heavier than usual, people referred to it as, ‘cannonball.’
Over time, various myths surrounded the Christmas pudding. One myth states that the meal’s preparation should include thirteen different ingredients.
This factor represents Jesus and his twelve disciples.
The superstition further adds that every family member present in the Christmas celebration should mix the pudding from the east to the west direction using a wooden spoon.
All these actions purposed to honor the wise men.
Christmas Pudding Tokens
An old tradition linked to the meal by then was the placement of a silver coin deep into the prepared food.
People believed that, during the feast, whoever found the coin in their pudding portion would receive some luck.
Sometimes, there were additional items known as, ‘favors’ or ‘tokens,’ placed in the delicacy, which contained special meanings.
Examples of such Christmas pudding tokens included:
- A ring placement in the pudding- If an unmarried individual would locate it; the people believed that the person would marry in the following year. They also associated the ring with richness, for anyone who could find it during the Christmas pudding feast.
- Sometimes there would be the positioning of the spinster’s thimble in the pudding. Whenever a single woman located it, it meant that they would remain unmarried in the year that followed.
- A bachelor’s button located in the pudding by an unmarried man indicated that they would remain single in the following year.
Learn More With the Help of Video
Christmas pudding is always a part of the Christmas menu all over the world. The tradition of adding it to the menu is centuries old.
In fact, the tradition of Christmas pudding was started in the 14th century. In this article, I have shared the complete history of how pudding came into existence and what all other traditions are related to it.
Word Cloud for History of Christmas Pudding
The following is a collection of the most used terms in this article on History of Christmas Pudding. This should help in recalling related terms as used in this article at a later stage for you.
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Chara Yadav holds MBA in Finance. Her goal is to simplify finance-related topics. She has worked in finance for about 25 years. She has held multiple finance and banking classes for business schools and communities. Read more at her bio page.