You've Been Lied To: Sugar Plums And Plum Pudding Contain No Plums

You've Been Lied To: Sugar Plums And Plum Pudding Contain No Plums

Christmas might seem to some outside, alien observer to be an awfully plummy time, what with all the sugar plums and plum puddings and such, which is super weird when you think about it. Have you ever eaten a plum for Christmas? Of course not. They're not even in season, which is usually why a crop is celebrated at a certain time of year (see: pumpkin spice everything). Still, plums have weaseled their way into a completely undeserved festive reputation, and it's time to call those suckers out.

Maria Siriano/Unsplash

If you've ever wondered why visions of fruit would dance through children's heads, the answer is that it doesn't. "Sugar plums" were candies, made by coating a nut or seed in several layers of hardened sugar like a lame old-timey Blow Pop, popular in the 17th through 19th centuries. They were called "sugar plums" because they were made of sugar and their shape and size kind of vaguely resembled a plum. That's it. Naming shit wasn't anyone's top priority at a time when you were lucky to have three good lung days over the course of your short life.

Likewise, you're probably only familiar with plum pudding in the context of high school English, but if it were served to you, you'd probably be confused and offended. Far from the delicious bowl of fruity cream, you might be imagining, plum pudding is a disappointing lump of raisiny cake. That's because it's named after the British usage of "pudding," which just means any dessert, and people in the "sugar plums" era also called raisins, or any dried fruit, a "plum," probably just to fuck with us here in the future. Quick, let's remain cranberries something dumb and confusing. Bear balls? There are no bad ideas here, people.

Top image: Monika Grabkowska/Unsplash

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