[personal profile] chaosvizier
Oops, this one was for yesterday, but I was out the whole day and passed out at home before using The Internets. So let's catch up and make it good.

[livejournal.com profile] mitchy decided that I should talk about puddings. The best, the worst, the one I can't live without.

Let's do this like a boss. A boss pudding.


First, let's go in the wrong direction, just for shits and giggles. All puddings are bad. Black Puddings will dissolve your armor and flesh. White puddings, Dun puddings, and Brown puddings are no better. Neither are Gelatinous Cubes, or other oozes and jellies. All Dungeons and Dragons-class puddings are, in fact, horrible.

The other wrong direction is non-desserty categories, such as the British breakfast treat known as black (or blood) pudding. The "blood" part is actually not a misnomer; traditionally it is made with pig's blood, I believe. This is a good pudding. Not for everyone, perhaps, but I've had it in many different forms before, and I enjoy it. So, all hail blood pudding. It's all good.

And now, onward.

"Pudding" in the British sense is "dessert". Anything dessert-like can therefore be considered a pudding. By this definition, a favorite dessert is a tough call, although a well-made chocolate mousse can usually trump everything in its path. However, the British have provided mankind with Sticky Toffee Pudding and Banoffee Pie, which should not be underestimated. And a good flan can be consumed by the bucketload in my book. So, on a global "desserts only" scale, those are my tops. If I had to choose one that I could not live without, it would be the chocolate mousse. Mmmm, so smooth and chocolatey.

But lo, not all desserts are good. There are some things in the "dessert" category that have failed to convey the true nature of dessertness. Carrot Cake, I'm looking at you. A carrot belongs in a salad. Not a cake. Cake implies sweetness and delight. Carrots imply salad. Fuck you, Carrot Cake. You violate the very embodiment of all that is dessert.

On a personal note, I'm not a fan of nuts, and therefore nut-based desserts are not my thing. I accept the fact that pecan pie is a delicious treat, and (once I scrape the pecans off) I totally agree. But by and large, I prefer my desserts to be nut-free. Almonds, peanuts, pecans, hazelnuts, pistachios, whatever - not in my dessert. Perhaps I should clarify: not whole and intact in my dessert. Hazelnut mousse and peanut butter can still make good desserts, and pistachio ice cream is good to boot. But not almonds, not in any form. I used to like marzipan, but then I think I overdosed on it and now it's repugnant. Sorry almonds, you're done.

And now, specifics.

"Pudding" in the American sense is usually an opaque gelatinous-yet-creamy substance that is meant for desserty consumption. We all know of Jell-O Pudding (which is different from jello itself). Custard is like a pudding, and can be included in this category for arguments' sake. Not everyone likes the creamy texture or consistency of such puddings, but with the right flavor, I'm definitely sold on pudding of all types.

What's not so good? Certain fruity flavors. Jell-O Pudding is not my favorite brand; the flavors are a bit artificial and bleah. And most fruity puddings are pretty nasty with the fruit flavor; I'd rather have a pure vanilla or chocolate pudding with no extra additives if we're going that route.

But lo, pudding comes in many forms. Custard, as mentioned above, is very tasty, although usually used as a topping for an existing dessert. This does not prevent me from eating it as is, though. A flan could probably also be considered a pudding, in which case, as above, sign me up for infinite pudding delivery please. And then there are the special puddings. Tapioca pudding is usually just vanilla pudding with tapioca grains included. These little gelatinous balls don't have much flavor in and of themselves, but somehow they take regular pudding and crank it up a notch. This is not for everyone, though; the texture of the tapioca grains does not appeal to everyone.

What's my number one pudding? Rice pudding. I love a good rice pudding. Throw in some cinnamon and nutmeg and cloves, and it's all about keeping warm on a cool Sunday afternoon. There's a restaurant here in NYC called "Rice to Riches" and all they make is varieties of rice pudding. It's a good thing that I'm not usually near this restaurant or I would be enormous.

In summary: most puddings are good, unless they're trying to kill you.
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