Appears in
Oxford Companion to Sugar and Sweets

By Darra Goldstein

Published 2015

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A remarkably direct line can be traced from the spiced, savory sausages of classical antiquity to the rich, sugary desserts of today. After the departure of the Romans from England, boiled suet sausages became a staple of the Anglo-Saxon diet. Medieval palates favored the blending of savory, sweet, and spicy flavors, and puddings at this time were likely to include both meat and sugar. The antecedent of the famous Christmas plum pudding was a “plum pottage” containing meat and dried fruits. Such combinations originated in the extensive Arabic influence on medieval European cooking.