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Indian pudding

Indian pudding from Durgin-Park in Boston.

What: A dessert dating to America’s colonial days, Indian pudding is a sweet baked pudding made with cornmeal, molasses, milk, butter, and spices (cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger); it’s served hot, usually with vanilla ice cream, to close out a feast (it’s traditional at Thanksgiving for some New England families). Early settlers likely tried to re-create a familiar British dish called hasty pudding, but without easy access to wheat flour, substituted cornmeal—corn, of course, being plentiful in the New World, and the staple crop of Native Americans. This dish’s name stems from the fact that those settlers called corn “Indian corn,” and therefore tended to throw the word “Indian” before any dish made with corn or cornmeal. Indian pudding alone is almost too sweet and molasses-y, but throw in some ice cream, and the cold creamy contrast makes the dish. 

Where: Our picture is from an old-school restaurant dating to 1742, Durgin-Park, that's sadly closed as of Jan. 2019. Please check our alternatives below for more spots serving this dish. 

Order: The Indian pudding wasn't pretty, but it tasted great: a super sweet mix of hot and cold, with an earthy, polenta-like texture made creamy by the fast-melting ice cream

Alternatively: Look for Indian pudding at regional chain Summer Shack (multiple locations including 50 Dalton St., map), where it’s accompanied by soft-serve unless you request otherwise.


 

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