Christmas songs are such classics that we often don’t think about what we’re singing when we’re humming them to ourselves or caroling with our neighbors. However, more and more recently, people are taking a second look at the words we’ve always loved, but maybe haven’t really known.
For instance, in the past few years, “Baby, It’s Cold Outside” has come under fire for being a little creepy. The man won’t listen to the woman when she says she wants to leave, but this is something we’ve been singing joyfully pretty much since its creation in the 1940s. The next song to we’re all wondering about? “We Wish You A Merry Christmas.” Specifically, the part about figgy pudding.
Luckily, there’s no funny business happening in this song. It’s more that we’ve been demanding someone to “bring us a figgy pudding” since the 1930s, and if you’re like us, you don’t actually know what that is. It turns out, the staff at the radio station NPR didn’t know either, so they decided to take a look at what it is we’re really asking for.
Figgy pudding goes by many names. There’s “Christmas pudding” and even “plum pudding,” even though today, plums and figs aren’t in the pudding at all.
It’s also not a pudding, per se, either. The dish has its roots in England, where “pudding” just means a kind of dessert. Before you start picturing something like chocolate cake or an ice cream sundae, though, be warned that figgy pudding is anything but. The dish has thirteen ingredients, standing for Jesus Christ and his twelve apostles, and is mostly made up of raisins, currants, and brandy. The brandy is poured on top and the pudding is literally set on fire before being consumed on Christmas Day.
You can listen to the full investigation, as well as take a look at the recipe, over here.
(Image via Shutterstock)