Pudding most often refers to a dessert, but can also be a savory dish. There are two main types.

The word pudding probably comes from the French boudin, originally from the Latin botellus, meaning "small sausage," referring to encased meats used in Medieval European puddings. In the United Kingdom and some Commonwealth countries, pudding is a common term for any dessert.

Baked, steamed and boiled puddings

The first type of pudding is a solid mass formed by mixing various ingredients with a grain product or another binder (e.g., batter, flour, cereal, blood, eggs, suet). These puddings are cooked by baking, steaming or boiling.

This type of pudding is still common in various places and is served as either a main-course dish or a dessert. In Australia, pudding is usually used to describe this type, though the term also may be used to refer to the second type (see below) as well. These are less common in North America.

Many puddings of this type resemble cakes, characteristically with more moisture and usually served in chunks rather than slices. Others are types of sausages. Dessert pudding is often accompanied by custard or ice cream.

Boiled pudding was a common main course aboard ships in the Royal Navy in the 18th and 19th centuries. Pudding was used as the primary dish in which daily rations of flour and suet were prepared.

Suet pudding

Steamed pies consisting of a filling completely enclosed by suet pastry are also known as puddings. These may be sweet or savoury and include such dishes as steak and kidney pudding.

Creamy puddings

The second and newer type of pudding consists of sugar, milk, and a thickening agent such as cornstarch, gelatin, eggs, rice or tapioca to create a sweet, creamy dessert. These puddings are made either by simmering on top of the stove in a saucepan or double boiler or by baking in an oven, often in a bain-marie. They are typically served chilled, but a few types, such as zabaglione and rice pudding, may be served warm.

This is the most familiar meaning of the term in North America and some European countries such as the Netherlands, whilst in Britain egg-thickened puddings are considered custards and starch-thickened puddings are blanc-mange. Pudding may be made from scratch or a mix or may be purchased ready to eat. The gelatin dessert company Jell-O is the primary producer of pudding mixes and prepared puddings in North America.

List of types of pudding

Baked, steamed and boiled puddings



Creamy puddings

Miscellaneous desserts

In these examples, the word pudding is used in the British sense meaning "any dessert," rather than the specific puddings discussed above.

Cultural references

See also


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