Pudding and Custard

Pudding and Custard"What is the deal with pudding and custard?  I know they're two different things, but I don't know exactly HOW they're different."

The "easy" answer is that custard is a very specific term for the egg-based dessert, whereas "pudding" is a broader term that means...hmm...

1. a thick, soft dessert, typically containing flour or some other thickener, milk, eggs, a flavoring, and sweetener...

That's the custard-like definition.  But what else can “pudding” mean?

2. a similar dish unsweetened and served with or as a main dish

There we go! In short, "pudding" can either mean "something very much like custard" or "something not very much like custard."  More specifically, you got your...

Bread pudding: Made from bread, and not a dessert, though sometimes served with a sweet sauce.

Blood pudding: Actually a sausage, definitely not a dessert, also known as "black pudding," which makes it sound only slightly more appealing.

Red pudding: Another meat dish.  Okay, we're pretty far away from custard now.

White pudding: A breakfast meat dish, also known as mealy pudding, which really isn't a good name at all.  The Scottish usually serve black pudding and white pudding together, sort of their equivalent of the American "black and white cookie."

Yorkshire pudding: A side dish made from batter, so neither a meat dish nor a dessert dish, but somehow still called "pudding", even though it sounds more like a dinner roll.

So the message is that you know pretty much what you're getting with custard, but if someone offers you pudding, you're well within your rights to ask them to be more specific.

Pudding and Custard Shelf Life
Pudding, opened1-2 days
Custard, opened1-2 days
Handling Tips: 
If not used in one day, transfer to glass or plastic container to avoid metallic taste. Cover and refrigerate.
Boyer, Renee, and Julie McKinney. "Food Storage Guidelines for Consumers." Virginia Cooperative Extension (2009): n. pag. Web. 7 Dec 2009.

"Cupboard Storage Chart." K-State Research and Extension n. pag. Web. 23 Dec 2009. <http://www.ksre.ksu.edu/humannutrition/hrap/storage/cupstor.htm>.

Specific Pudding and Custard Products


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