This is one dish that has come into many types and variations over the years. We know of the sweet custard type, or the savory dish version, or even cake-style bread puddings, something that has evolved with the people and the country where it was being made.
For now, we will be focusing on the variation that is similar to egg-based custards or mousse. By definition, Britannica.com describes pudding as a food that is “relatively soft, spongy, and thick texture.”
Here’s a quick look at what is known to be its evolution: It is said that pudding is usually claimed as a British invention and has the characteristics of British cuisine. Medieval versions were mostly meat-based. While 17th-century variations can be classified into savory or meat-based and sweet, which can contain flour, nuts, and sugar. By the 19th century, it has evolved into something that is like a cake. It was also sometime in the mid-19th century when the sweet and creamy version was invented, when English chemist Alfred Bird was able to develop an egg-free custard powder, allowing puddings to have the perfect consistency.
- There are two pudding days being celebrated: National Chocolate Pudding Day on June 26th and National Butterscotch Pudding Day on September 19th. Now that’s two different reasons to eat more pudding!
- The origin of the word pudding has a totally different meaning from the custard dessert we know. The term may be traced back to the Latin word botellus, which means sausage, bringing about the words boudin and pudding.
- Molly Schuyler holds the Guinness World Record of most pudding eaten in three minutes! It happened back on April 25, 2014, in Irving, Texas when Schuyler ate 5.44 kilograms or 12 lbs. worth of pudding in just three minutes!
Pudding Buying Guide
When buying pudding, it would be a good thing to know how to differentiate it from a custard. And this can be done by looking at its ingredients.
Pudding is a sweetened milk or cream-based mixture, which uses gelatinized starch, or cornstarch or flour as a thickening agent. Meanwhile, custards are also milk or cream-based but have eggs to thicken the mixture. Custards are also usually firmer than pudding and have to be baked with a water bath.
Pudding is generally available in dessert shops, as well as commercially sold in supermarkets in pudding cups!
Pudding Production & Farming in Texas
Just like many other businesses in the state, gourmet producers and dessert shops also offer different pudding flavors and variations. And many boasts of having homemade versions, as well as those made from natural, fresh and organic ingredients. Making it a hot item for the health-conscious!
Preservatives, Additives, and Chemicals
Pudding can be made using a simple list of ingredients such as milk, sugar, and cornstarch, plus of course, the flavor you prefer. However, additional flavorings and colors can also add some other not-so-natural substances to your pudding. It would be a great practice to check the ingredients list when grabbing that cup of pudding! Here are some possible items in the ingredients list of your favorite pudding, or its add-ons.
- Modified Corn Starch – As its name implies, it is starch derived from corn that is produced by treating native starch physically, chemically, or enzymatically to alter its properties for food manufacturing. It helps in the food processing with its thickening, emulsifying, gelling and binding properties. However, the term modified here doesn’t necessarily mean GMO or the plant is genetically modified. There are no official research findings about it being dangerous to our health and is generally recognized as safe.
- High Fructose Corn Syrup – The HFCS is an artificial sugar that is made from corn syrup. Commercial producers of products usually use this, as the HFCS is a cheaper substitute to natural sweeteners. But overconsumption of items with this ingredient can be linked to several serious health issues such as diabetes, obesity, fatty liver, and heart disease.
- Artificial Flavors – these are flavorings added in our food that is not extracted from organic sources such as plants or animals. These are usually present in processed foods and snacks. But while others do not recommend taking in food with anything artificial, there are no reported significant health risks associated with taking in these artificial flavors.
- Artificial Food Color – These make the food colors pop and look so much brighter and appetizing. However, there are some food colors and food dyes that have been banned from some countries as research findings have highlighted them to cause allergic reactions, tumors, and cancers. These banned food dyes are Blue 2, Green 3, Yellow 3, Yellow 6, and Red 3.
Pudding is usually sold in plastic cups, as well as little jars or bottles that are transparent to highlight the product inside. The pudding and its components are usually artfully presented to make it visually enticing as well as appetizing!
There are so many types of pudding all over the world! From Italy’s Panna Cotta, to England’s traditional Christmas Pudding, to even the Philippines rice pudding, Champorado, there is just so much to pudding that can be explored! Every country and every region have their own style and ingredients that are highlighted. But what remains important is that pudding has always been a great dessert option, light, filling, and convenient!
Opened homemade pudding is said to only last for about a day on room temperature, but can keep for about 5 days to a week if kept in the refrigerator. If you stock packs of pudding, it is said that it can last for about 3 to 4 weeks in the refrigerator. It is usually a good practice to not store it for too long and must be kept chilled in the refrigerator, as it contains milk that can expire quite quickly.
Quick Creamy Chocolate Pudding
Here’s your chance to make your own chocolate pudding from scratch, with this recipe from Hersheys.com.
- 2/3 cup sugar
- 1/4 cup cocoa
- 3 tablespoons cornstarch
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 2 ¼ cups milk
- 2 tablespoons butter or margarine
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- In a medium saucepan, mix sugar, cocoa, cornstarch, and salt. Gradually stir in the milk.
- Cook this over medium heat stirring constantly until the mixture boils.
- Boil and stir for about 1 minute.
- Remove from the heat then stir in butter and vanilla.
- Pour into individual cups or dessert dishes.
- Place plastic wrap gently onto the surface to avoid a skin from forming on top.