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Spotted dick,dessert.

How about a bowl of spotted dick?

Insert chuckle here. OK, now stop.

This traditional pudding with the funny name is a pretty simple mix of flour, suet (beef or mutton fat), milk, currants or raisins, sugar, lemon zest, salt and other spices.

The ingredients are mixed and made into a soft dough, then steamed. The pudding, as it’s known, is then covered with a hot custard before eating.

Spotted dick is a simple dish with a not-so-simple history behind its name.

Its origin — and name — goes back more than 150 years, with at least one recipe dating to 1847, although some claim the recipe is even older than that. One story is that the pudding reminded people of the Dalmatian dog, because the raisins inside the pudding looked like its spots.

One of the dog’s nicknames was spotted dick and the pudding took on that name. Some recipes today refer to the dessert as “spotted dog,” giving some credibility to the claim.

Others say the name came from a derivative of the word pudding itself. Pudding became “puddink,” which became “puddick,” and finally to “dick.”

And don’t think it’s just the Americans who find the name a little funny.

In 2002, the BBC reported that Gloucestershire hospitals were returning the pudding back to its original “spotted dick” name. Until then, it was listed as “spotted Richard.”


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