A BRIEF HISTORY OF HOW AUSTRALIA SHAPED A CHRISTMAS DISH FOR THE REST OF THE WORLD.
The Pudding Origin
Did you know that the word pudding was derived from the French boudin, originally from the Latin word botellus, which refers to “sausage”. As its etymology suggests, it refers to dishes wrapped in intestinal tracts or cloths, which were boiled, steamed or baked.
From UK to Australia
During the British colonisation of Australia, the Christmas Pudding tradition was appreciated and kept. A century later, Australians are adding their mark on the recipe with citrus fruit, candied peel and dried raisins thanks to the Murrumbidgee Irrigation Scheme which has helped NSW farmers to produce better quality and quantity of fruits.
From Australia to Uk
After WWI, the U.S. was experiencing economical growth, while the UK dived into depression. The British were looking for ways to grow their economy and thought of taking advantage of their colonies.
In 1922, the British Women’s Patriotic League created the “Empire Shopping Week” designed to promote the purchase of products from the Commonwealth countries, and this is where Australia cements its footprint on the iconic Christmas Pudding.
From Australia to UK continued…
Meanwhile Australian farmers had it tough after the WWI: While recovering from the war, California was becoming a serious fruit producer. In response to this growing competition, the Australian Dried Fruits Association financed a marketing campaign in UK during the “Empire Shopping Week”: The Empire Christmas Pudding was born!
A giant pudding, ornamented with both the Australian flag and a kangaroo, paraded on the streets of London. It was such a success that the following years, other countries of the Commonwealth pledged to have their produce included in the Empire Pudding recipe!
Australian keeping the tradition alive
Making a Christmas Pudding is a labour of love and families all around Australia will gather in their kitchen on the Sunday before Advent for the “Stir-Up Sunday”, keeping the tradition alive.
Chris Thé, founder of Black Star Pastry, is a living example of how Australians are keeping this ritual alive: “Val, my Aunt in law, taught me everything about Christmas Pudding and she shared her Heirloom recipe with me” said Chris Thé.