Special request from Bev today, and an appropriate one for the 6th Day of Christmas. 😀
Figgy Pudding. If you’re like me, you’ve really only heard of it in that oft-forgotten verse of “We Wish You a Merry Christmas.” But what in the world is it?
First, let’s get this out of the way: there are no figs in traditional figgy pudding. Rather, fig was just used to represent any dried fruit, especially plums…which also weren’t in the original dish, LOL. No, that honor went to raisins and currents. These fruits were mixed with meats and grains and spices and made into something like a sausage in the earliest days of the dish in 1300s England (“pudding” originally meant anything boiled or, later, steamed in some sort of bag or casing). Over the next two hundred years, fruit became more plentiful, and the dish went from savory to sweet. It became a traditional Christmas dish–often called “Christmas pudding” as a matter of fact…which led to it being outlawed by the Puritans, who didn’t celebrate Christmas.
So why do carolers demand it? Well, back in ye olden days, the poor would sing Christmas songs at the homes of the wealthy with the expectation that they’d get something in response, either a treat or a monetary tip–it was a way to ask for alms that didn’t wound anyone’s pride. The “now bring us some figgy pudding” and “we won’t go until we get some” lines of the song are considered to be a bit of poking fun at this arrangement.
Most Christmas puddings today are baked in loaf pans, laced with alcohol to bring out the flavors, and are filled with fruits and spices.
What’s your favorite traditional Christmas dish?