The Delicious Legacy
The pudding is a dish very difficult to be described, because of the several sorts there are of it: flour, milk, eggs, butter, sugar, suet, marrow, raising, etc are the most common ingredients…They make them fifty several ways: BLESSED BE HE THAT INVENTED PUDDING for it is a manna that hits the palates of all sorts of people… Ah what an excellent thing is an English pudding!’ – Henry Misson “Misson’s Memoirs and Observations in His Travels Over England”
All puddings started their lives as meat puddings. Mostly sausage-like concoctions similar black pudding. Even when we started wrapping food stuffs in cloth, and boiling them, they were heavy on meat, and some fruit and spices and even some sugar. How, from this we went to the Yorkshire pudding? A good question!
A kind of early boiled pudding called thryon is described by the ancient Greek grammarian and gastronome Pollux: lard, brains, eggs and cream cheese were beaten together, the mixture was wrapped in fig leaves (in the same way as puddings were tied in a cloth later) and boiled in chicken or kid broth, then untied and given a final cooking in boiling honey. (Julius Pollux was a Greek scholar and rhetorician from Naucratis*, Ancient Egypt. Emperor Commodus appointed him a professor-chair of rhetoric in Athens at the Academy — on account of his melodious voice, or at least that’s what we know according to Philostratus’ Lives of the Sophists. Pollux Died in 238 AD in Athens.)
Praise of course for cooking over fire! Any cooking; meat, vegetables, stews soups for that matter! Amazing skills from people who (still) do it!
Plus my recipe for Yorkshire puddings! Tasty fluffy morsels of deliciousness! Heh…! Hope you’re going to make them!
It’s been a while as I was very busy …I had it all written down, but never had the chance to go to the studio and record it. So I decided to record this in my bedroom and in a hurry so apologies for the drop in audio quality of my recorded voice!
Thanks to Sebastien Froment for lending me his French voice and accent to record as the French 17th century traveller Henri Misson. (From “Misson’s Memoirs and Observations in His Travels Over England“)
Charles Lamb essay is from this little gem of a book :
(Finally a credible explanation on how humankind started cooking over fire! Only kidding, I love the Chinese myth though!)
I’ve tried my best to read the Yorkshire saying “Them ‘at eats t’most pudding gets t’most meat” without trying to pretend I’m from Yorkshire!
I appreciate it might sound wrong when i say “batter” it might sound like “butter” but for the purpose of this episode, mostly when I say “batter” I mean “batter” ie flour and liquid mix that needs cooking and not the dairy product! Ha!
Another point I thought might bring confusion is “Medieval Tansie” so what’s that? Tansy is an edible flower/herb/plant whom the name can be traced back to the Latin athanasia, or immortality, from the Greek athanatos, meaning deathless, perhaps because the herb has been used to preserve bodies.
Tansy was used to flavour puddings, cakes, and eggs, and gave its name to a pancake flavoured with bitter herbs known as a “tansie,” which was traditionally eaten in spring and associated with Easter. (One sixteenth-century authority noted that tansy was beneficial in purging the body of the excessive phlegm engendered by a Lenten diet of fish.)
Tansy was more often added to sweet than savoury dishes, although it is the flavouring agent in a traditional Irish blood pudding known as drisheen. Alan Davidson, in The Oxford Companion to Food, speculates that the amount of tansy used was relatively small, given its strong taste.
Some hopefully illuminating photos can be found here:
As always music is kindly composed & provided by Pavlos Kapralos:
Expect the opening and closing theme tune, which is “Waltz Detunee” performed, recorded and mixed by Cloudcub: https://cloudcub.bandcamp.com/album/down-memory-lane-ep
Maltby & Greek link, for your 15% off of your next purchase please go here: maltbyandgreek.com/delicious
Many thanks and Happy listening!
Thom & The Delicious Legacy
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