"The real Yorkshire pudden's a poem in batter, To make one's an art not a trade."
Such are the lovely verses composed by Weston and Lee in 1935, when they released a folk poem centered around one of Britain’s national treasures: the Yorkshire Pudding.
Since 2007, the delicacy has been celebrated on its very own national holiday on the first Sunday of February, recognizing it is a delicacy and a cornerstone of British culinary heritage.
Known worldwide as a Sunday lunch staple, there’s a particular Yorkshire Pudding that makes us go wow: the largest Yorkshire Pudding ever created.
Pudding it simply: a beastly pudding that measured an area of 46.46 m² (500 ft²). That’s to say, about as big as twelve King Sized beds and almost as big as a small one-bedroom flat!
Imagine how much gravy would fit in such a pud.
Thinking outside of the box was key for this preparation, which took a gigantic amount of ingredients and several hours of preparation.
In total, the record-breaking recipe was made of:
- 162 kg (357 lb) of flour – 162 full bags of flour!
- 10 kg (22 lb) of salt – around the same weight as a one-year-old baby
- 109 kg (240 lb) of eggs, for a total of about 1500 eggs
- 129 litres (28 gal) of milk, more than 129 milk jugs
- 145 litres (31 gal) of water, about the equivalent of how much a one-person household uses in a day
- and, to make the titanic pudding truly delicious, a full tub of seasoning.
The record was broken by the members of the Skipton Round Table at Broughton Hall, Skipton, North Yorkshire, England.
Although their pudding was already record-worthy, it initially measured even more than the adjudicated 46.6 m²: sadly, a further 1.21 m² (13 ft²) were burned, and therefore taken out of the final measurement as they were deemed inedible.
However, that hiccup was far from off-pudding for the members of the Skipton Round Table. After being successfully broken in June 1996, the record has stood for a whopping 26 years!
Largest Yorkshire pudding: A pudding with an area of 46.46 m² (500 ft²) was made by members of the Skipton Round Table at Broughton Hall in Skipton, North Yorkshire, UK on 30 June 1996 #YorkshireDaypic.twitter.com/Xb4CGlKY2v— Guinness World Records (@GWR) August 1, 2019
The incredible amount of time this record has gone unbeaten is especially remarkable if one considers the strict rules of creating a Yorkshire pudding.
As stated by the Royal Society of Chemistry (RSC) in 2008, the Yorkshire pudding has to follow a strict rule to boast such a name.
“A Yorkshire pudding isn't a Yorkshire pudding if it is less than four inches tall,” writes the Royal Society of Chemistry.
“The Society has ruled on the acceptable dimensions of the Yorkshire pudding and is now issuing the definitive recipe.”
“The judgement followed an enquiry from an Englishman living in the Rockies in the USA who emailed the RSC seeking scientific advice on the chemistry of the dish following a string of kitchen flops.” - Royal Society of Chemistry
The RSC carries on sharing the official recipe and dosage of the Yorkshire Pudding, while also pointing out how to serve the dish in the best traditional fashion:
“Always serve as a separate course before the main meal and use the best gravy made from the juices of the roast joint.”
But what is a Yorkshire pudding?
Also known as “dripping pudding” thanks to its preparation, this dish ranks as one of the most iconic and comforting delicacies in the UK.
Born as a main course and a smart solution to avoid wasting, the Yorkshire pudding is traditionally made of simple ingredients: eggs, flour, milk and salt.
It has been part of the Brit food heritage since 1700, and housewives in Northern England used to position the dripping pan under the meat as it was being roasted on the spit. That way, the fat would drip from the joint of meat right into a dripping pan: the juices would then dampen a classic-made pancake batter, avoiding waste and making the most out of the delicious (and, back then, pricey) meat.
Although its deliciousness is well-renowned, the fatherhood of the so-called "dripping pudding" recipe is unsure.
What we know for sure is that the recipe was officially named by culinary writer Hannah Glasse in her The Art of Cookery Made Plain, a cookbook that hit shelves in 1747.
The publication would grow into a must-read of its time, and it elevated Glasse as the "mother" of the Yorkshire Pudding.
However, the very first apparition of a forerunner of the Yorkshire pudding in a cookbook actually dates back to 10 years prior.
Among other all-around guides and tips for women of the time (in an interesting little read that appears in equal parts comical and horrifying to a contemporary readership), the self-proclaimed “Infallible guide for the fair sex” outlined the recipes for oyster sauces, meats, fine plain puddings and sweet meat ones and, at last, the traditional dripping pudding.
Glasse would then rename and reinvent the recipe a decade later, continuing the tradition of the yummy dish and allowing it to further evolve through the centuries.
“Yorkshire housewives served Yorkshire pudding before the meal so that they would eat less of the more expensive main course,” follows the Royal Society of Chemistry.
Over time, this recipe proved to be as versatile as it was mouth-watering: in fact, some reckon that the dish can also double-up as a dessert - in case you were wondering, yes, the Royal Society of Chemistry has given their green light to sweet Yorkshire pudding!
However, the idea of the classic pudding being served as a dessert, paired with jam or whipped cream, seems to stir some controversy.
A traditional way of enjoying your family lunch or sweet and filled with jam, over 40 m² large or bite-sized, flagship of Yorkshire cuisine and record holder, there's a lot to say about this ever-evolving dish: the humble king of every Sunday Roast.
Although we cannot confirm that the first Yorkshire pudding was "mixed up that pudden with Heavenly magic," as per the 1935 Weston and Lee ballad, it seems clear that it's a recipe worth being celebrated in all its variations: sweet, sour, perfectly baked or with record-breaking measurements.
Happy Yorkshire Pudding day!
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