Yes, you’re probably as surprised as I was to find Spotted Dick in a grocery store. It seems like a product better suited for an adult toy and novelty shop than sitting on a shelf in the canned meat aisle. Then again…
Imagine having a friend over for dinner.
Your guest asks, “Say, what are we having for dinner?”
“Roast beef with mashed turnips and asparagus.”
“Sounds great. Turnips are my favorite.”
“And we have something special for dessert.”
“Yes. Spotted Dick.”
The guest tips his head, looks at you and smiles, expecting you to laugh.
An awkward moment of silence hangs in the air.
“Could you say that again?” he asks. “I don’t think I heard you.”
“Spotted Dick. Very yummy.”
He casually takes a half step back. “Yes, I’m sure it is but…uhhh…I forgot something. I just need to run out to my car.”
And that’s just what he does. A moment later you hear tires squeal. After that, your friend stops returning your calls or texts.
A good evening spoiled and who’s to blame?
This delicacy has been around since 1849 and remains quite popular with folk from the UK. Then again, they’re an odd lot.
Why would I say such a thing? According to Wikipedia [https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Spotted_dick] “It is made from a flat sheet of suet pastry sprinkled with dried fruit, which is then rolled up into a circular pudding.” For those of you who are not in the know, suet is raw beef or mutton fat. Sounds a bit odd for a treat to me but the British have been wolfing it down since 1849.
Enjoying Spotted Dick hasn’t stopped those chaps from making fun of it. In 2009, the catering staff of the Flintshire County Council in Wales finally had enough. They renamed the pudding concoction Spotted Richard. And who can blame them? After more than a century and a half, they’ve heard every joke in the book.
Fortunately, Simpson’s of Manchester has no intention of changing the name. And let’s hope they never do. That would rob us Yankees of the pleasure of pointing and snickering like twelve-year-olds at the grocery store.
“Jolly good dick, I must say.”