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Pudding Politics

As the festive season’s ultimate celebration looms large in the form of the mighty Christmas dinner we would like to provide a few paragraphs to honour the Christmas Pudding or ‘Plum Pudding’ as it was traditionally known.

On the basis that the average North American and European consumes in excess of 7,000 calories on Christmas Day it is strange that the sticky, sweet pudding has managed to stick around. In reality the thought of the pudding and the tradition surrounding it far outweighs the pleasure of the actual eating after all of the turkey, potatoes, vegetables and trimmings. Nevertheless we religiously buy the pudding whilst at the same time promising that we’ll put slightly less on the main course plates this year – a vain and ultimately idle boast.

The pudding has an interesting history alongside the traditional Christmas dinner. In 1644 in Britain the Parliament decreed that Christmas should be a fast day instead of a feast day. Many sources referring to the history of the Christmas pudding tell the story that Oliver Cromwell in fact intended to banish the Christmas Pudding altogether.

However, Cromwell at the time was preoccupied with the not so small inconvenience of a Civil War and so fortuitously this legislation went no further. In 1656, some even more fanatical Puritans sought to make celebrating Christmas itself illegal but thankfully this bill got no further than its first reading and was subsequently dropped with the feast/fast law lapsing during the Restoration.

Nonetheless, religious zealots continued their attempts to oppose the pudding with the Quakers in 1714, declaring that the dish was “the invention of the scarlet whore of Babylon”.

We are of course thankful for Eliza Acton who finally published the first recipe for Christmas pudding in Britain in 1830 and the dish has been preserved in this format ever since.

As 2017 draws to a close and we look to spend time sharing with family and friends around the Christmas meal table, at Optimize Consulting we would like to thank our readers and clients for their support during the year and we very much look forward to sharing our musings with you in 2018.

In the meantime can we wish all our clients and readers a Happy Christmas and Prosperous 2018.

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