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The Gourmet Merchant Blog Page

"Sticky Balsamic" in Victoria

We're very happy to welcome Victorian "Sticky Balsamic" stockists.

We have just been appointed Victorian Distributors for this very enterprising producer of local fruit infused balsamics.

Go to our web page to see the full range

Get in touch with us on

03 9459 1033


Christmas is Early This Year

It seems like Christmas is early this year, with the way orders are coming in.

We'd love you and your customers to have a happy Christmas, so please phone us on 03 9459 1033 with your orders just as soon as you can. Sooner if you are away from one of the capitals, because you'll know that transport can become a real problem around now.

Enough of that.

Today I wanted to show you our Christmas puddings, traditional and contemporary.

"Partridge in a Pear Tree" Christmas Puddings

In their Puddings on the Ritz "Partridge in a Pear Tree" packaging they are just the most beautiful things for retailers' Christmas displays, for hampers and for corporate gifts. Check them out on our Christmas page.

The Gourmet Merchant Christmas Puddings in Cermaic Bowls

Christmas Puddings in Ceramic Bowls

For people who do festive but don't do Christmas Pudding -

Dessert Puddings Fig & Walnut, Chocolate Truffle with Grand Marnier

More than you need to know about Christmas Puddings

Some folk believe that the plum pudding was associated with Christmas back in English medieval times when it was supposed to be made on the 25th Sunday after Trinity - for reasons that take us further into English Christian custom than we need to just now.
The Christmas pudding was to be be prepared with 13 ingredients to represent Christ and the 12 apostles, and that every family member stir it in turn from east to west to honour the Magi and their supposed journey in that direction”
A lot of baggage for the good old Christmas pud.
In terms of its ingredients, Christmas pudding seems to go back to 14th century with a porridge called 'frumenty' that was made of beef and mutton with raisins, currants, prunes, wines and spices. Leave out the wine and it's sounding a bit more like a tagine.
There were no “plums” as we know them in the original – or later – recipes. The term “plum” referred to raisins and prunes.

There is another myth that in 1714, King George I, sometimes known as the Pudding King, (nothing wrong with that, I’m the Pudding Queen after all) requested that plum pudding be served as part of his royal feast in his first Christmas in England

Over time the dish became known as a plum pudding, and increasingly associated with Christmas – until first being referred to as a Christmas pudding in the seminal work, Eliza Acton’s 1845 book “Modern Cookery for Private Families.”
Eliza acknowledged her Christmas pudding would be a boon to the masses because it didn’t need to be cooked in an oven, something "most lower class households did not have."
The Anglican Church even has a name for the day when you make your Christmas pudding - “Stir Up Sunday.”
Traditionally, every member of the household stirs the pudding, while making a wish.
Sounds more pagan than Christian to me.
Charles Dickens wonderfully describes the arrival of the Christmas pudding in “A Christmas Carol”:
"Mrs Cratchit left the room alone – too nervous to bear witnesses – to take the pudding up and bring it in... Hallo! A great deal of steam! The pudding was out of the copper which smells like a washing-day. That was the cloth. A smell like an eating-house and a pastrycook's next door to each other, with a laundress's next door to that. That was the pudding. In half a minute Mrs Cratchit entered – flushed, but smiling proudly – with the pudding, like a speckled cannon-ball, so hard and firm, blazing in half of half-a-quarter of ignited brandy, and bedight with Christmas holly stuck into the top."
Bedight – now there’s a word we should be using more often
In the days before we used to worry about these things like breaking teeth and food contamination, all sorts of things were cooked into the Christmas pudding – as if it weren’t heavy enough already.
Silver coins, buttons, wishbones, silver thimbles, or even an anchor – in token form I presume – were included, each with it own symbolism.

Cheers and best wishes


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