Rice pudding has many names around the world and it is a
favorite clearly of history! Sometimes it has been made
for a meal, as a porridge, but many times it has been
sweetened with sugar, honey or fruit for a dessert.
Although there are people who detest rice pudding, I
tend these are folks who I believe just haven't enjoyed
a good one!
Looking back at history, there have
been various milk and rice dishes stretching back to the
initial use of rice in the far east. Moving westward,
the ancient Romans made a rice pudding with goats milk.
In medieval Europe, rice puddings were symbols of
fertility of food for the rich. One of the earliest
cookbooks appeared in Germany around the 14th century.
England has been celebrating rice pudding for about 400
But the true love of rice pudding in
more modern times is found -- in my humble opinion -- in
á l'amande is a favorite Christmas dessert. By
tradition, one whole almond is left in the dish and the
finder is said to have luck or marriage in the upcoming
I appears to me that
not much care or thought has been given to making rice
pudding today. It is as if chefs everywhere take it for
granted. However, with a little research and personal
preference one can make something extraordinary
encompassing some of the fun traditions and ingredients
from around the world!
Some of the ingredients
used in rice puddings I found to be very attractive. I
adopted the a few of the delicious variations as they
seemed appropriate. Besides the expected vanilla and
cinnamon, I added the less commonly called for nutmeg,
ginger, mace and cardamom. Over the years, I have never
found rice pudding recipes calling for America's
favorite... blueberries! Since I love blueberries they
are in their too!
It occurs to me that
traditionally, rice pudding was made from left over rice
much like bread pudding is made from left over bread. So
it seems reasonably to me that we might take a similar
approach by using cooked rice in our casserole
dessert dish. I also can't think of a more perfect way
to cook our rice than using a rice cooker. In this case,
I used milk, vanilla extract and saffron for color!
In any rice dish, the
choice of rice is important. Many chefs discuss the
value of finding rice that will absorb the milk
adequately. For the purpose of absorption, I can fid
anything better than short grain rice from Spain ( you
can substitute sushi rice) ... I prefer Bomba.