What Is the History of Figgy Pudding?

Figgy pudding is also known as plum pudding or Christmas pudding. It's famously mentioned in Charles Dicken's "A Christmas Carol" and the popular Christmas song, "We Wish You a Merry Christmas." The first historical reference to figgy pudding dates back to early 15th-century England, although it was much different then compared to the versions made today. Figgy pudding is made with dried fruit, most commonly with raisins, prunes or plums.

Figgy pudding became associated with Christmas sometime around the mid-1600s. It was banned by Oliver Cromwell in 1647 because of its associations with the Catholic holiday. The tradition of the pudding reached standard form during the English Victorian era, during which famous English writers and novelists began standardizing the idea of English Christmas. It was brought to the Americas by the Protestant English pilgrims.

Christmas pudding is very similar in taste to fruitcake. In its early history, the pudding was a savory concoction, but it has since transformed into a delicious, sweet dessert. Recipes for figgy pudding differ, but in general include dried fruit, sugar, flour and rum, as well as spices such as nutmeg, cinnamon and clove. Optionally, add brandy, cognac or rum at the end to flame the pudding, which may also be topped with heavy cream, ice cream or applesauce.