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Wednesday, 15 December 2010

No Plums in the Pudding

Plum pudding is dessert frequently served at holiday times. Plum pudding has never contained plums (ciruelas); it may, however, contain raisins (pasas de uva).  
Why is Plum Pudding called Plum Pudding when there are no plums in it? One explanation says that in the 17th century, the word plums referred to raisins, which were dried grapes, or to other dried fruits. Prune (ciruela seca) is actually derived from the same word as plum: the Latin word pruna. But the terms were quite confused in the 16th and 17th centuries and people talked about growing prunes, and not plums, in their garden.
Another version suggests that dried plums, or prunes, were popular in pies in medieval times, but gradually in the sixteenth and seventeenth century they began to be replaced by raisins. The dishes made with them, however, retained the term plum, and to this day the plum pudding reminds us of its former ingredients.

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