It’s hard not to be curious about something named “Spotted Dick”. What on earth could the good folks at Heinz be thinking? In regards to the name, even the mighty internet was of little help.
The “spotted” part refers to the fruit (usually currants) that dot the steamed suet pudding (yum!) but where the “dick” came from is unclear.
It has been renamed “Spotted Richard” on at least one menu, which frankly, sounds even creepier.
When popped from it’s tin after boiling, this dick retained the contours of the can, much like canned cranberry sauce. While it was dense, it was also surprisingly moist, and tasted far better than it looked.
KD thought it would pair well with a cup of English breakfast Tea, while EA thought it a bit sweet, saying that it made his throat hurt after a few bites. Fun fact: it can be rolled into balls and used as make-shift marbles, just like Wonderbread.
The best thing about Claxton Fruit Cake is it’s packaging, which makes claims of being both “world famous” (which could go either way) and “old fashion” (whatever that is). Even more perplexing was the word “regular” on the label, implying that there might be an “irregular” or “strange” variant of this brick shaped holiday “favorite” lurking on a shelf somewhere.
Cutting into the cake revealed chunks of red and green which are supposedly candied cherries. The cake was dry, and smelled like some sort of unholy marriage of raisins, jellybeans, Chuckles candies and holiday spices. It made the roof of KD’s mouth burn and EA declared, “This is the reason people hate fruit cake.”
Next up were two puddings from the U.K. Unlike the creamy products we call pudding in the U.S., this pair of Christmas puddings are more solid and hold their own shape. Crosse & Blackwell English-Style Brandied Plum Pudding claims to be ready in minutes and it was, if by “minutes” you mean about 30 of them.
Once warmed, it smelled very boozy and kinda bad. The pudding tasted heavily of orange rind, brandy, and had large raisins embedded inside.
This one really wasn’t too bad, with a moist texture and a rich taste that KD was fond of.
The label for Walkers Rich Fruit Pudding only includes microwave instructions, and not owning a microwave, we called their U.S. office in New York.
They suggested removing it from the plastic mold and steaming it. We placed it in the steamer insert of a double boiler and hoped for the best.
The pudding tasted of bitter orange peel and a deep raisin flavor mixed with some sort of alcohol. We found it to be overly dense, with a dark and almost burnt taste. It was fun to try, but we wouldn’t buy it again.
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