Spotted dick

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Spotted dick
Spotted dick
Place of originUnited Kingdom
Main ingredientsSuet, dried fruit, flour, sugar, milk, baking powder

Spotted dick is a British pudding, made with suet and dried fruit (usually currants and/or raisins) and often served with custard.

It is made from a mixture of flour, milk, caster sugar, suet, dried fruit, flavorings and baking powder, which is combined into a soft dough, and then cooked into a pudding over indirect heat (simmering water).[1]

The dish is first attested in Alexis Soyer's The modern Housewife or ménagère, published in 1849,[2] in which he described a recipe for "Plum Bolster, or Spotted Dick—Roll out two pounds of paste ... have some Smyrna raisins well washed...".[3] The Pall Mall Gazette reported in 1892 that "the Kilburn Sisters ... daily satisfied hundreds of dockers with soup and Spotted Dick".[4]

Spotted Dick and custard.

The name has long been a source of amusement and double entendres, to the point that the catering staff of Flintshire County Council decided in 2009 to rename it to "Spotted Richard" because of all the jokes they were receiving.[4] While "spotted" is a clear reference to the dried fruit in the pudding (which resemble spots), "dick" is more obscure. The word was widely used as a term for pudding in the 19th century; in late 19th century Huddersfield, for instance, a glossary of local terms described "Dick, plain pudding. If with treacle sauce, treacle dick."[4] It could alternatively be a corruption of the word pudding, evolving through puddink, then puddick, then finally dick. Another possibility is that it is a corruption or variant of "dough". For example, "deeg" is the Dutch word for "dough."[5]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ James Martin. Spotted dick and custard recipe.
  2. ^ Eric Partridge (2 September 2003). The Routledge Dictionary of Historical Slang. Routledge. pp. 5085–. ISBN 978-1-135-79542-9.
  3. ^ John Ayto (1994). A Gourmet's Guide: Food and Drink from A to Z. Oxford University Press. ISBN 978-0-19-280025-1.
  4. ^ a b c Ayto, John (2012). The Diner's Dictionary: Word Origins of Food and Drink. Oxford University Press. p. 349. ISBN 9780199640249.
  5. ^ "dough - Dutch translation – Linguee".

External links[edit]