Food – Good ol’ pud for post-Cup blues

2010-07-02 13:33

With the World Cup feast drawing to a close, it’s time to think about what will

satisfy your sweet tooth after such a buffet of tasty players – erm, I mean


While we might favour jelly and ­custard or koeksisters, the French

do fancy things with custard, the English like a helping of spotted dick and the

Greeks bake their halva. There is one pudding that almost all of the 32

­qualifying nations (and most of the ones who didn’t) make a version of.

That’s right, a childhood warmer and something few people think to

make these days – rice pudding.

Rice pudding is also a perfect ­finisher in the chilly weather and

you can add and subtract flavours to suit your own palate.

In Arab countries they add ginger, in Greece and Spain lemon and

cinnamon, in Italy orange peel, while in Denmark they add whipped cream and

vanilla and serve it with red berry sauce.

In England, as readers of AA Milne and Tom Stoppard will know, it

is served with a dollop of strawberry jam, while in Macedonia they add poppy

seeds. In Scandinavian countries, it has a long tradition as a Christmas

­pudding in which an almond is hidden.

Whatever your preference, the ­pudding below – a hybrid of north

and south Indian – gives you the ideal base to build your own united nations of

flavours in one dessert.

Since today is the Wimbledon final, as a twist to the traditional

­strawberries and cream, add a vanilla pod or cinnamon stick instead of the

cardamom seeds and sultanas.

Serve it warm, topped with whipped cream and chunky strawberry jam.

This goes very well with a good ­bottle of pink champagne. But then again, what


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