On British Yorkshire Pudding Day, the first Sunday of February, this baked pudding is honored for its centuries-long stalwart place in the British food lexicon. Yorkshire pudding was first devised as a way to conserve the fat that would drip off a roasting fowl or side of meat, catching the grease in the batter mix — eggs, flour, and milk — instead of a dripping pan, and serving the resulting dish as a part of the meal. In poorer quarters, since meat was expensive, Yorkshire puddings would be served before the main meal to dull the appetite before the sparingly served meat course.
To this day, it is traditional in Great Britain to serve Yorkshire puddings with the Sunday roast. People in the UK and around the world love the crispy and soft textures of the outside and inside of the Yorkshire pudding, respectively — hey, there wouldn’t be a holiday named after a food that wasn’t delicious, right?
History of British Yorkshire Pudding Day
National Yorkshire Pudding Day has been celebrated in Great Britain since 2007, and the dish is still a popular topic of conversation, with differing recipes and methods of service all vying for prestige. In 2008, the UK’s Royal Society for Chemistry, referring to the fact that the Yorkshire pudding is supposed to rise and become fluffy during the cooking process, had this to say — “A Yorkshire pudding isn’t a Yorkshire pudding if it is less than four inches tall.”
Research shows that the earliest printed recipe for the “dripping pudding” that would eventually become attached to the name of the northern England county probably was the one that appeared in a book called “The Whole Duty of a Woman,” published in 1737. We acknowledge and distance ourselves from the misogyny of the title, but the recipe itself is quite intriguing — describing the process of shaking the pudding pan often while the mutton above it cooks, then “turn[ing] it in a dish and serv[ing] it hot.”
To underscore the popularity of the Yorkshire pudding, take the 2012 T-Mobile UK poll that asked what respondents loved most about Britain — Yorkshire pudding was in the top ten most popular answers. So if you’ve never tried one, today’s the day, and if you’re familiar already, take this chance to spread the joy, on British Yorkshire Pudding Day.
British Yorkshire Pudding Day timeline
Birmingham chef Tom Casson wins The Great Yorkshire Pudding Contest with his recipe dubbed “War of the Roses.”
The American version of the Yorkshire pudding — the popover — is first referenced in print.
A recipe appears in the book “The Art of Cookery Made Plain and Easy,” the first one to use the name “Yorkshire pudding.”
A recipe for “dripping pudding,” a precursor to the well-known Yorkshire pudding, appears in “The Whole Duty of a Woman.”
British Yorkshire Pudding Day FAQs
What’s the secret for making my Yorkshires rise?
Experts say that there are two important variables to pay attention to — the batter should be cold and the oil should be hot, and “resting” the batter allows the starch molecules to swell in oder to create that expansion you desire.
What’s the best oil or grease to use in my recipe?
Ideally, it would be goose fat, which lends historical accuracy and extra flavor, but a simple olive oil or vegetable oil will do nicely as well.
Do any American chain restaurants serve Yorkshire pudding?
The closest our research shows is that a franchise restaurant based in Edmonton, Canada — The Sawmill Prime Rib and Steakhouse — keeps it on their regular menu. Let’s hope they open more brick-and-mortars to their south!
British Yorkshire Pudding Day Activities
Try one out for dinner
The obvious answer, but no less fun and satisfying. Experience the taste, fluffiness and famous mouth-feel of a Yorkshire pudding. After all, millions of Britons can’t be wrong, right?
Make some yourself
It’s said that it takes a special touch to make a passable Yorkshire pudding. There are a lot of variables involved, like correct rising, exact proportions of ingredients, and the heat of the oven. See if you can get it right on the first try!
Enjoy the trend on the socials
You could be the first of your online friends to make a post using the hashtag #YorkshirePuddingDay, and now that you’re reading our page on it, you’ll have some interesting facts to share.
FIVE AMAZING FACTS ABOUT YORKSHIRE, ENGLAND:
A first time for everything
Not only is the Sheffield, Yorkshire football club — soccer, to Americans — the oldest in the world, but its founders actually created the game and its rules right there at home.
Going for the gusto
In 2012, athletes from Yorkshire county won more medals — seven gold, two silver, and three bronze — than most entire countries!
A talented family
The Brontë sisters, authors of works like “Wuthering Heights” and “Jane Eyre,” called Yorkshire home.
Just like the real thing
Dating back to 1320, the cobblestones and overhanging architecture of its white cottages make Yorkshire’s “Shambles” neighborhood England’s best-preserved medieval spot.
Enclosing an area of 263 acres, Yorkshire’s city walls are the longest in England.
Why We Love British Yorkshire Pudding Day
It reminds us to be aware of other cuisines
Expanding your culinary experience is the next best thing to traveling outside the country to immerse yourself in another area’s food and culture. And, in case your tastes fall on the bland side anyway, the Yorkshire pudding is not too exotic.
It’s a baking challenge
We understand that it can be quite difficult to make a Yorkshire pudding that rises properly and doesn’t fall. If you have done it, or you do it today, give yourself a pat on the back — and dig in!
It gives us a chance to play with accents
Most Americans admit that from time to time, they try on a British accent just for fun. So why not have a group meal of not only Yorkshire pudding but a course or two of other English classic recipes, and see who can do the best Hugh Laurie!
British Yorkshire Pudding Day dates