14th August 1951:  A traditional Christmas pudding with a sprig of holly on the top.  (Photo by Chaloner Woods/Getty Images)
Traditional Christmas Pudding Dates Back To 14th Century Britain
By Matt Byrne
Christmas pudding is a traditional part of the holiday in Britain, but those who imagine it to be similar to typical American pudding would be mistaken, as the current iteration more resembles fruitcake, with sweet and candied fruits. However, the first Christmas pudding probably looked, smelled, and tasted far different than modern versions.
Christmas pudding had roots buried in medieval sausages, and its early ingredients included grains, fruit, and spices. The carol "We Wish You a Merry Christmas" references figgy pudding, also known as plum pudding, made with raisins, currants, sugar, almonds, carrots, cinnamon, cherries, and brandy.
The first predecessor to Christmas pudding was early mince pies, which had meat, fruit, and alcohol. The other dish it evolved from was frumenty, a porridge full of cracked wheat, nuts, and berries. It was ladled out as an appetizer but had a consistency akin to regular pudding.
Ultimately, the Christmas pudding that Britons love — or at least continue to make — was born through mixing mince pies and frumenty. Now, if the flavor could only be improved so that it didn't taste like it was 700 years old, it might be worthy of extra celebration.