A Carrot Pudding – Historical Context
In the Baltimore cookbook we see a number of different puddings indicating a strong European (especially British) influence. Historically, carrot pudding would have been a typical sweet food that could have been eaten for any number of occasions with a strong prevalence in British cuisine. It is easy to make and contains only a few ingredients as we see in the book, so with the strong British influence in Baltimore and all along the cost and simple recipe it is no surprise to see this pudding as well as many others in this cookbook.
We see dating back well into the 1600s numerous occurrences of puddings in all kinds of cook books. Because the basic ingredients in puddings are fairly easy and cheap to come by it is a recipe that had a strong presence in that time. In the 1699 book Aceteria: A discourse of Sallets (European) we see a number of different recipes for puddings using the same main ingredients but just adding ingredients like carrots, other vegetables, or even potatoes as a frugal way to thicken the pudding. With a simple recipe and any number of different thickeners it is no surprise that we see many pudding recipes in not only the Baltimore cookbook, but many of the other cookbooks we have looked at, and carrot pudding is one of the most common examples (Pudding: A Global History).
Another example of carrot pudding in American cookbooks, comes from Amelia Simmons’s American Cookery (1796). She describes a number of different puddings including pumpkin, squash, yams, and carrots! Her recipe is fundamentally similar to the Baltimore cookbook (but with cinnamon), showing how easily this recipe could disperse throughout the new world.