Pudding can be the crowning joy of a good meal. It’s the opportunity for a little froth and fun, once the kitchen has earned the trust and affection of the eater. Historically, British traditional cooking has known this to be the case. Wibbly wobbly jellies, meringues upon meringues in a rococo pouf, a whole lemon boiled inside a pudding: Surprise! It’s all so silly and delightful!
There is power in a morsel of sweet pudding to conjure halcyon memories — sometimes real, but more often imaginary — of innocent school days, 1970s glamour, or cigar smoke filled 19th century eating clubs. It’s a cultural or collective nostalgia, one which may bear little or no resemblance to any historically lived reality, but which has a strong and pleasurable pull nonetheless.
So while contemporary restaurant desserts tend towards the staid — a little something to satisfy the sweet-toothed or those still hungry after a meal of scanty small plates — there remain both the old guard and a new breed who know the talismanic power of a good pud.Read More