National Indian Pudding Day
Indian pudding is celebrated on this day. The pudding was created by colonists in the New England area in the late 17th century, and it is so named because it uses cornmeal, which colonists called Indian meal. Corn was introduced to the colonists by the indigenous peoples of the area, thus the connection of the name "Indian" to the food. Indian pudding was based on a dish the colonists brought from England—hasty pudding—which was transformed from a wheat based recipe, to a corn based one. Other ingredients besides cornmeal typically include milk, and sweeteners such as molasses or maple syrup, as well as spices such as cinnamon and ground ginger. Butter and eggs are often added to help with its consistency, and raisins, apples, and nuts also are popular additions. Originally the dish was probably just cornmeal, milk, and molasses, and was made by being boiled for a long period. Today it is baked in an oven for several hours, giving it a smooth texture. It is also often served with whipped cream or vanilla ice cream. The dish was popular during the colonial area in New England, and was found in most American cookbooks before 1900. It was popular at Thanksgiving meals in the late 19th century, but now only retains its popularity in the New England region.
How to Observe
Celebrate the day by eating Indian pudding. If you are in New England, you may be able to find it at a restaurant. Otherwise, make your own!