Dessert puddings can be traced all the way back to the 17th century. During that time, a “pudding” was actually a very moist cake similar to a modern-day bread pudding or plum pudding unlike the puddings we know and love today. Today is a day to enjoy some chocolate pudding because June 26 is National Chocolate Pudding Day.
The sweet and creamy confection we know and love today emerged in the mid-19th century when an English chemist named Alfred Bird developed an egg-free custard powder. This remarkable invention made it very easy to produce a delicious pudding with the perfect consistency. Today, pudding is a popular dessert all over the world.
Chocolate pudding is a variation on chocolate custard, with starch used as thickener rather than eggs. There are two main types: a boiled then chilled, texturally a custard set with starch, version commonly eaten in the United States and Canada.
General Foods (Jell-O) introduced chocolate pudding mix in 1934. It is interesting that in the late 19th and early 20th century, chocolate pudding was thought of as an appropriate food for invalids or children as well as a dessert. It was not considered a health food, but as a wholesome, high-calorie food for those with poor appetites.
Modern chocolate puddings are usually made with milk and sugar, flavored with chocolate and vanilla and thickened with a starch such as flour or cornstarch. Occasionally, eggs are still used when making chocolate pudding. Usually it is cooked together on the stove top, but other methods exist including microwaving, steaming, baking or freezing using gelatin as a thickener. Sometimes white chocolate pudding is made. Chocolate pudding is commonly purchased ready-made in stores, popular brands include Jell-O Pudding by the Kraft Foods Corporation and Snack Pack by Hunt's.
National Chocolate Pudding Day is a fun day to celebrate for young and old alike. Whether you are a parent with young kids at home or a powerful executive in an office, celebrating National Chocolate Pudding Day can add some lighthearted and delicious fun to what might be just another day in June.
You can also make chocolate pudding from a mix or from scratch. Serve chocolate pudding in single serving cups. Your pudding can also be decorated with colored sprinkles or made in animal shaped cookies for dipping. If you work in an office, take a layered chocolate pudding trifle in a beautiful glass bowl to share with your co-workers.
To celebrate National Chocolate Pudding Day, make your own homemade chocolate pudding to share with family and friends.