Victorian Christmas pudding

The World

Britain shares many holiday traditions with the United States: Christmas trees, Santa Claus, and awkward family reunions. But there is one essential element of a British Christmas that Americans have not adopted: the ancient ritual of the Christmas pudding. Reporter Leo Hornak, an Englishman and a veteran of The World’s newsroom, offered to cook his very first Christmas pudding and serve it up for American radio listeners on Christmas Eve. He describes the dish as indestructible: “So dense. And it’s a pretty sterile environment for bacteria, like the surface of the moon.”

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