I am incredibly sad to see the Olympics winding down. The closing ceremonies are this coming Sunday and I've so enjoyed seeing London and parts of England that I remember exploring some 18 years ago. Wow! Time flies.
I served Spotted Dick for the Opening Ceremonies and I had several people ask me about it's origin and history.
To be honest, I found mine pre-made in a can (thank you Cost Plus World Market) but I found this on-line video of the real thing! Can you even buy suet in the States???
Spotted Dick is a British steamed suet pudding (again, think moist dense cake) that contains dried fruit and currants and is commonly served with a custard (think pudding or a thick cream). Spotted refers to the pieces of dried fruit and dick may be a contradiction or corruption of the word pudding or possibly a corruption of the word dough or dog (as in spotted dog) which is another name for a dish but made with plums rather than currants.
According to the Oxford English Dictionary the earliest documented reference is a recipe for "Plum Bolster" or Spotted Dick in Alexis Soyer's The Modern Housewife in 1849.