The Empire Christmas Pudding

'Making the Empire Christmas pudding', artwork by F C Harrison produced for the Empire Marketing Board

‘Making the Empire Christmas pudding’, artwork by F C Harrison from the National Archives.

Those of you outside of the UK maybe unfamiliar with Christmas Pudding, but in the late 1920s The Empire Marketing Board (EMB) used it to promote buying goods from countries within the British Empire.

Puddings originally started back in medieval England as a way to preserve meat. Over the years the Christmas Pudding gradually evolved to the pudding we eat today, though little has changed since Victorian times. It’s mainly filled with shredded beef suet, raisins, breadcrumbs, flour, lots of sweet dark sugar and brandy – if you’ve never had it you’re probably wondering why we eat it, but believe me it’s delicious!

The EMB was as much about reminding people to buy from within the Empire as it was a propaganda machine trying to prop up this jingoistic policy to a nation that no longer had the appetite for it after the horrors of war.

This picture could have been me on Sunday (except for the beer, my grandmother’s recipe doesn’t include that), and yes before anyone tells me I know I should have made them at least three weeks earlier!

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