Celebrated every November 13, National Indian Pudding Day is your day to try the puddings that native Indians used to make using the original ingredients. Molasses and cornmeal are primary ingredients and give this pudding the perfect rich savoriness and density for a cold November day. That makes it the perfect time to celebrate the existence of this dessert. Over the years, people have shifted to new flavors and recipes, which resulted in a silkier texture and more desirable taste. Sometimes, this traditional New England delicacy makes its presence known by a few people with good taste and extends into other parts of the U.S.!
History of National Indian Pudding Day
There is no confirmed origin of how and when this pudding was discovered and who discovered it. But what is certain, is that it was made by the local Indians of Northern America. It is the most native dessert we have — it has remained mostly unchanged since the time the native Indians used to make it.
Almost unknown outside New England, this dessert has been around for three centuries now. The name of the pudding may suggest that it refers to the Indians living there, but rather it was named after the cornmeal, known as ‘Indian meal’, calling it Indian Pudding.
Local food historians have mentioned in their books that back in 1621 when the first Thanksgiving was celebrated by the colonists, this dessert was made part of the main dishes on the menu. The dessert maintained its centuries-long hold over the pudding category until the 1920s and ’30s when chocolate suddenly arrived in the U.S. The recipes changed because people started shifting towards the sweeter and silkier versions of the pudding.
This pudding maintained its existence in New England, where it is still among the favorite puddings of the local people. Outside this area, comprising six states in the Northeastern United States: Connecticut, Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Rhode Island, and Vermont, it is largely unknown. The holiday was never petitioned in the White House, but still, somehow this dessert ended up having a day for its own name. Each year, November 13 is celebrated in the U.S. as National Indian Pudding Day.
National Indian Pudding Day timeline
The local settlers in America crave the local Indian dessert and so is added to the main menu of the first Thanksgiving dinner.
In the late 1600s, the dessert is so popular that it is officially there in all the cookbooks.
The settlers in New England find an abundant supply of molasses, which adds a thicker and more flavor dimension to the pudding.
As chocolate and other flavors come pouring into the U.S. and new tastes develop, the pudding is lost to the public.
National Indian Pudding Day FAQs
What are the main ingredients for modern Indian puddings?
The pudding is made from milk, butter, yellow cornmeal, flour, salt, molasses, eggs, granulated sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg, golden raisins, and, optionally, whipped cream or vanilla frozen treat.
Is Indian pudding best eaten hot or cold?
One can eat it warm and add ice cream, or eat it cold with either cream or warm vanilla custard.
Is it a long or slow process to make Indian pudding?
Because it is a traditional recipe, Indian pudding takes longer to prepare than more modern recipes do.
National Indian Pudding Day Activities
Be adventurous and add an old flavor profile to your pudding repertoire, serving it to some of your friends and family. Make an Indian pudding and share it, and decide if you all love it too
Make a short vlog or write a blog and share on social media what the above experience was like. If your children want to, let them share the vlog with their friends in class to spread awareness.
Make it a fun learning process — read about more traditions like this, and share with family and friends about whether you love or hate Indian Pudding. You could even host a MasterChef type of evening where traditional ingredients go into creating unique new recipes.
5 Facts About Indian Pudding Everyone Should Know
Rich sticky pudding
The Indian pudding is a bread-type of pudding that is similar to the cinnamon / spiced types of pies that Americans love.
It pairs well with cream or ice-cream
Foodies have revealed that the rich and savory flavor of the pudding blends perfectly with the softness and sweetness of the whipped cream or vanilla ice cream.
It is less sweet than modern puddings
Because it contains less sugar than most modern puddings, it’s good for the waistline.
It was also called ‘hasty pudding’
Hasty pudding is a pudding of grains cooked in milk or water, specifically a version made primarily with ground (‘Indian’) corn.
Yankee Doodle mentions it
It is mentioned in the lyrics of ‘Yankee Doodle’, a traditional American song of the 18th century.
Why We Love National Indian Pudding Day
It’s our native dessert
It is a truly American dessert. That alone makes it worth trying!
The need to keep our old traditions alive
Sometimes it is good to be old-fashioned and keep the traditions alive. Where the new lifestyles and modern eating habits have ensured we stay on our toes, occasionally we deserve a break from this quick lifestyle and revert to following our traditions.
Giving a chance to have a rich, earthy, savory, dessert in the cold on November
Celebrating this day as National Indian Pudding Day gives us an excuse to prepare ourselves for the coming cold of the winter. This Indian pudding has all the ingredients in it to make a perfect delicacy for you to enjoy during mid-November when it's getting colder, and you need something earthy, savory, and rich to enjoy.
National Indian Pudding Day dates