Sunday, September 13, 2009

What's the Origin of 'Spotted Dick'? Buy it on Amazon?

I was simply sitting with my cuppajoe reading the new post from I Hate My Message Board ...then I followed the link to 'Chicken In A Can' which lead to another link about 'spotted dick'.....well, come on...I'm old but I am human and always thirsty for knowledge (face it ole gal...you're just nosy). So, I had to do some research on where this tasty delight got it's name.

First thing I came to is an actual listing on Amazon for 'Spotted Dick' in a can AND there are 2 that are Used &/or new (I guess used and new is the same price...wonder how used the used one is?)
Heinz Spotted Dick Sponge Pudding, 10-Ounce Cans (Pack of 6) by Heinz
Buy new: $29.74 $22.88
2 Used & new from $22.88

Get it by Friday, Sep 11 if you order in the next 5 hours and choose one-day shipping.
Eligible for FREE Super Saver Shipping.

So, not satisfied that I knew why something in a can is called 'spotted dick'...I searched on....Wickipedia and found this....Photobucket
Spotted Dick is a steamed suet pudding containing dried fruit (usually currants) commonly served with custard, and a standard part of English cuisine. Spotted refers to the dried fruit (which resemble spots) and Dick may be a contraction/corruption of the word pudding (from the last syllable) or possibly a corruption of the word dough.[1] Another explanation offered for the latter half of the name is that it comes from the German word for "thick," in reference to the thickened suet mixture.
According to the Oxford English Dictionary, the earliest documented reference is a recipe for "Plum Bolster or Spotted Dick," in Alexis Soyer's The Modern Housewife of Menagere (1850).
The catering staff at Flintshire County Council and hospital managers at Gloucestershire NHS Trust renamed the pudding Spotted Richard on menus due to the use of Dick, which is short for Richard but also slang for penis, in the original name. Gloucestershire NHS Trust restored the original name in 2002.

I'm leaning toward the mispronunciation of the German word for 'thick'....makes sense to me....

Then I found this.....

A Staff Report from Straight Dope Science Advisory Board (Fighting Ignorance Since 1973)
What's the origin of "spotted dick"?
August 27, 2002
Dear Straight Dope:
Can you shed any light on the etymology of "Spotted Dick"? It's a British concoction, a steamed, log-shaped suet pudding studded with currants, hence the "spotted." But why the "dick"?
The first explanation that leaps to mind seems highly unlikely, but I haven't been able to find a detailed and credible account of how this venerable dessert really did get its name. The best I found in over 40 pages of Google results was someone who thinks he read somewhere that the words "dick," "dog" and "duff" when applied to puddings were all derivatives of the word "dough." OK, "duff" and "dog" seem pretty plausible linguistic mutations, but even allowing for strange regional British accents, "dick" seems a little bit of a stretch. My British parents are also at a loss to explain.
— Jayne

We just tackled the origin of "Dick" as a nickname and a few other usages--a riding whip, an apron, abbreviation for "dictionary," a policeman, a declaration, and (of course), the penis.
With all these varied usages, you got a problem with "dick" being also derived from "pudding"? My sources all pretty much agree with the derivation, without being specific how. However, I can see "pudding" become "puddink" becoming "puddick" and then just "dick."

The word "dick" has appeared in any number of strange places. Around the 1840s, "dick" was used to mean a type of hard cheese; when treacle sauce was added, it became "treacle dick", and finally when currants or raisins were added (looking like little spots), the "spotted dick" was born.

The earliest recipes for spotted dick are from 1847. For non-British readers, "spotted dick" is a boiled suet pudding, with bits of dried fruit (usually raisins or currants) that (as already noted) look like little spots.

The Oxford Companion to Food comments that, strictly speaking, "spotted dick" is made by taking a flat sheet, spreading sugar and raisins on it, then rolling it up. A similar dessert is "spotted dog," a plain cylinder of suet paste with the raisins and currants and sugar stuck into it, so that the spots are visible on the outside. Both spotted dick and spotted dog were traditionally boiled (or even steamed) in a cloth, but nowadays they are usually baked.

The dessert is slightly different in Ireland. In Ireland in the late 1800s, the tradition of yeast-bread manufacture was not strong, so most breads were raised with bicarbonate of soda and an acid, rather than with yeast, and thus called soda breads. Thus, the spotted dick in Ireland is sweet soda bread, with sugar, currants, and raisins, and it's also called the spotted dog or railway cake.
— Dex

Well, there you have it...the complete story on spotted dick in a can, where you can buy it...even a used can(?) and variations from different countries...the whole thing boils down to I used the 'inquiring minds want to know' philosophy into "what the heck, I have some time to devote to this 'thirst for knowledge'". Makes me sound very professorial don't you think? AND it all started with the reading of a new blog post from I Hate My Message Board and following some links. See how reading blogs can give you brain exercise and a delightful addition to your 'mind bloat'?

Seriously, I'm thinking I might buy a case of 6 to give as unusual Christmas Gifts....Curiocache might just like these...check out her Store..she has lots of unusual items!! Step out of the box this holiday season and buy 'unusual'! Fleapirates Plunder has piratetastic things...check the Plunder place for gifts.

Enough of this...I hope your life has been enriched with this new knowledge....

It's getting close to becoming LESS than 100 days to Christmas...aren't you beginning to feel the hot breath of a wild-eyed reindeer bearing down on the back of your neck? Oh, the pressure! Take the pressure off and get your shopping done from your favorite chair by shopping Online Auction .
Of course, to coin a phrase from Aesthetics48 ...a Shameless Plug...my favorite place is
Supergrannys Treasures

I will be dilligently adding a whack of stuff to my store in the next week or two (barring any more trips into the 'light fantastic' world of investigating the truly important things in life like 'spotted dick').

5 comments:

Fleapirates said...

Can't drink my Java because I am ROFLOL! SG you are too funny!

Spotted Dick sounds pretty good. May just have to try to whip one up! :)

Thanks for embarking me on a new quest. And thanks for the mention! I'll be back at Sugergranny's Treasures real soon.

CurioCache said...

HAAAAA!!! You're Awesome!! mmm...suet and currants..nothing better! 'cept for spam!

grouchow said...

He he he.... You crazy SG..... Spotted Dick..... one heck of a discovery..... Are you gonna cook that too? Inquiring minds want to know what you think of the taste!!!! Fun stuff. And interesting, I might add. Had me totally engrossed. Plus, I thought you were gonna go in a different direction LOL :) Thanks for the mention..... Maybe some of those Pudding lovers will like my old golf balls too! :)

patbiv said...

Can't be any worse than "sweet breads" can it?

Eileen Williams said...

My goodness--what a dickie of a post. Before I read this, I confess my knowledge of that type of pudding was more than a bit spotty. Now I know what I'm ordering the next time I find myself in London. Thanks for the enlightenment, SG!