Christmas Trivia - Figgy Pudding

What is "figgy pudding" and what does it have to do with Christmas?

Figgy pudding is an English dish resembling a white Christmas pudding containing figs. The pudding may be baked, steamed in the oven, boiled or fried.

A sample recipe might include butter, sugar, eggs, milk, bread crumbs, apples, and figs -- spiced with cinnamon, cloves, ginger, orange, and lemon -- and then be steamed for a few hours.

The term "figgy pudding" is well-known mainly from the Christmas carol, We Wish You a Merry Christmas. Although enthusiastically recommended by this popular carol, figgy pudding is not a popular dish -- more thought of than eaten in modern times.

Figgy Pudding's sweet ingredients were a luxury in centuries past. Today, making figgy pudding might be a useful tradition to remind us how culinary norms have changed over time, and perhaps to build a stronger connection to the past and our ancestors.

But most people today would probably enjoy a pan of brownies or a plate of chocolate chip cookies more than a figgy pudding. Indeed, if brownies had been available when the song emerged in the 16th century, or if the Christmas carolers of ancient times had been occasionally offered chocolate chip cookies, we might never have heard of figgy pudding today.

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