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What Is Figgy Pudding?

While Americans are usually introduced to figgy pudding by way of the song “We Wish You a Merry Christmas,” few ever actually consume it, much less make one. You might be surprised to find that it’s not even what we know as pudding.

It’s really not pudding, at least by American standards. The cake—which contains figs and is topped with brandy—has been an English Christmas dessert since the mid-1600s. Around that time, it was banned by English Puritans because of the large amount of alcohol content. Some believe that a Medieval custom dictated that pudding could only be made on the 25th Sunday after Trinity Sunday and that it was originally comprised of 13 ingredients to represent Christ and his 12 apostles.

Now you know. You might be more familiar with holiday dishes like sweet potatoes with marshmallows, green bean casserole, gingerbread, latkes, etc. but you might not know where they came from or why we eat them during the winter holidays. Find out by reading The Origins of 15 Holiday Foods and Drinks at mental_floss.
(Image credit: Flickr user Meal Makeover Moms)

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My grandparents came over on 'the boat' from Scotland and lived half the year with my family and the other half of the year with my uncle. Every Christmas my Nana would make a plum (or figgy) pudding for Christmas. She would wrap coins in waxed paper and put them into the batter. At Christmas dinner she would put it on the table and then set it on fire after removing the holly sprig. The one who got the most expensive coin got to make a special wish for the coming year.
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