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Tuesday, November 30, 2010


The word 'pudding' means something completely different in Japan than it does in New Zealand. When I hear 'pudding' I imagine bread pudding, rice pudding, steamed pudding, apple sponge pudding, or self-saucing chocolate pudding, or some other delicious and probably hot dessert, often served accompanied by ice-cream, whipped cream, or maybe pouring custard. But in Japan, pudding is custard with runny caramel topping. I think it's what we call creme caramel.

My first encounter with this kind of pudding was when I decided to try making some Brazilian food because a Brazilian guy was staying with us in New Zealand. A quick search of the internet produced two recipes, feijoada and pudim. The dessert had a much shorter list of ingredients, all of which I recognized and knew where to buy, so of course I made the dessert. I manged to get a nasty burn while making the caramel, but the result was so delicious I made it again many times. 

In Japan the puddings are always mini, like individual creme caramels, but the caramel is always thin and liquid. They are sold in supermarkets and convenience stores, like yogurts. The matcha pudding in the picture was from somewhere a bit more upmarket, because it was a beautifully packaged gift from an employer. 

Do I like pudding? Yes, it's quite nice. But now that the weather's getting colder I find myself missing New Zealand puddings...

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