Monday, October 15, 2012

You can't have your pudding if you don't eat your meat

I am reading JK Rowlings’ new book “Casual Vacancy”.  It’s really quite good but a giant leap away from Harry Potter . . . this is not a children’s book.  It is also not Americanized in any way and is chock full of Britishisms.

I have an acquaintance (I’ll call her ‘M’) from merry ol’ England - one who just so happens to live in the epicenter of all things British . . . London.  So, I decided to ask her about a couple of words that mean different things to me than what they seem to mean in the book.  

‘Pudding’. . . to me that means nothing more than a creamy, smooth confection preferably of the chocolate variety.  To Brits pudding is a lot more than just mere pudding . . . it’s everything dessert.

So, I tried to explain to my friend . . . pudding is a dessert but not all desserts are pudding . . . at least here in good ol' America.

She seemed a bit confused, “pudding/dessert = same?”

Me, “No.” 

I went on to explain, “Cake not pudding, ice cream is not pudding . . . they are dessert but not pudding.”

More confusion. 

M, “So pudding = pie based?”

Me, “No pudding is PUDDING based . . . every other dessert is just dessert.
M, “Confuuuuuuuuused!! As far as I know both (pudding/dessert) are the same here!”

There, yes.  Here, no.

I tried a graphical approach.

M, “??”

So, I tried the descriptive, “Pudding is a dessert with a creamy consistency; like mousse.”

And then to further complicate the situation I brought up that Brits put meat in pudding (Yorkshire Pudding) and that some sausages are puddings, too (Blood Pudding). And what about Steak and kidney pudding!  

M, “Heh heh - I am soooooo confused!!!!”

Me, “That's ok . . . we all agree on what tea is, right?”


To me tea is a simply a cup of tea.  Of course, I know of the British traditional tea time where tea is served with sweet and/or savory treats (puddings?).

Me, “If you're going to tea . . . is it merely tea (like a cup-a) or can it be more than tea.  Like a meal of some sort; dinner or lunch.”

M, “To be honest there isn't a hard and fast rule. Some people over here refer to tea as in having their evening meal/light supper.

“It isn't lunch though, lunch is lunch! 

“But if it is just say a cake and a drink then the phrase would be more likely ‘come over for a cup of tea’.”

Uh, huh.  Crazy Brits.

Pssst  . . . I bet tea would go great with pudding.

1 comment:

  1. Heh Heh - this is v funny!! I'm off for a cuppa! LMxx