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Dessert And Pudding

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Dessert is a course that concludes a main meal. The course usually consists of sweet foods and beverages, such as dessert wine or liqueurs, but may include coffee, cheeses, nuts or other savoury items. In some parts of the world, such as much of central and western Africa, there is no tradition of a dessert course to conclude a meal.

The term "dessert" can apply to many confections, such as cakes, tarts, cookies, biscuits, gelatines, pastries, ice creams, pies, puddings, custards, and sweet soups. Fruit is also commonly found in dessert courses because of its naturally occurring sweetness. Some cultures sweeten foods that are more commonly savoury to create desserts.

The word dessert is most commonly used for this course in U.S., Canada, Australia and Ireland, while sweet, pudding or afters would be more typical terms in the U.K. and some other commonwealth countries, including India. According to Debrett's, pudding is the correct term, dessert is only to be used if the course consists of fruit, and sweet is colloquial. This, of course, reflects the upper-class/upper-middle-class usage. More commonly, the words simply form a class shibboleth; pudding being the upper-class and upper-middle-class word to use for sweet food served after the main course. Desserts are often eaten with a dessert spoon, intermediate in size between a teaspoon and a tablespoon.

Pudding is a kind of food that can be either a dessert or a savoury dish. The word pudding is believed to come from the French boudin, originally from the Latin botellus, meaning "small sausage", referring to encased meats used in Medieval European puddings.

In the United Kingdom and some of the Commonwealth countries, pudding can be used to describe both sweet and savoury dishes. Unless qualified, however, the term in everyday usage typically denotes a dessert. In the UK, "pudding" is used as a synonym for a dessert course. Dessert puddings are rich, fairly homogeneous starch or dairy based desserts such as rice pudding, steamed cake mixtures such as treacle sponge pudding with or without the addition of ingredients such as dried fruits as in a Christmas pudding. Savoury dishes include Yorkshire pudding, black pudding, suet pudding and steak and kidney pudding.

In the United States and some parts of Canada, pudding characteristically denotes a sweet milk-based dessert similar in consistency to egg based custards, instant custards or a mousse, often commercially set using cornstarch, gelatine or similar collagen agent such as the Jell‑O brand line of products.

In Commonwealth countries these puddings are called custards (or curds) if they are egg thickened, blancmange if starch thickened, and jelly if gelatine based. Pudding may also refer to other dishes such as bread pudding and rice pudding, although typically these names derive from the origin as British dishes.

The modern usage of the word pudding to denote primarily desserts has evolved over time from the almost exclusive use of the term to describe savoury dishes, specifically those created using a process similar to sausages where meat and other ingredients in a mostly liquid form are encased and then steamed or boiled to set the contents. The most famous examples still surviving are blood sausage, which was a favourite of King Henry VIII, and haggis.