The Proof is in the Puddin’
The scene of the East Village dessert shop
Ahhh, let the blog coverage of NYC’s endless culinary establishments begin! First up, a brand new dessert spot in the East Village, located on St. Marks and 1st Ave, just 2 blocks from my apartment. After the New York Times told me there was a restaurant devoted almost entirely to pudding I had to check it out immediately. Thank God I did, because the demand for the heavenly dessert was so high, they had to close their doors for a few days just to restock and whip up some more product.
Sure enough, we got the last of the chocolate and butterscotch puddin’ they had, everything else ran out shortly after.
Young Executive Chef and Owner, Clio Goodman, put an adult spin on a childhood favorite and seems to have struck a sugary gold mine. With flavors like coffee and butterscotch that contains real scotch, the intimate cafe is the perfect place to end your night after dinner at one of the many St. Marks restaurants. But fear not, if pudding is not your thing, perhaps a slice of key lime pie or red velvet cake will please your palate.
Tasty toppings and other various desserts, including key lime pie
Pudding: A Historical Perspective
So if pudding is important enough to have it’s own shop, I figured there had to be some history behind it. I was surprised to learn that traditional “pudding” is nothing like what we consider it today. The creamy goodness you will find on St. Marks is actually a custard, which dates back to the Middle Ages. True pudding was a Medieval British dish that was mostly meat based and was a very common meal in the 17th century. Since then it has evolved to become more like the cakes still served around Christmas time.
The pudding (or custard) that we are familiar with today became very popular in America in the late 19th century, because social reformers and food companies promoted it as a health food. Families were encouraged to give it to their children because of the nutritional value of tapioca, one of its key ingredients. Unfortunately, the puddings you find on the shelf today are made up of nothing but sugar and artificial ingredients. I was very pleased to learn that the desserts made at Puddin’ s are made of natural, organic ingredients from the Battenkill Valley Creamery in upstate New York, and you can truly taste the difference.
Caramel Machiatto on the Left, Classic Parfait on the Right
Anxiously anticipating the first bite! Nail polish- School of Hard Rocks by Essie
Determined to experience as many of the flavors as I could, I decided on a caramel machiatto parfait, while my friend Jane went with the classic. The caramel machiatto mixes chocolate and coffee puddings, brownie bits and a heavenly surprise of salted caramel syrup at the bottom. The classic is anything but simple, featuring chocolate and butterscotch pudding layered with whip cream. Words can not express the overwhelming sense of joy your body experiences when the first bite goes into your mouth. The rich flavors blend perfectly and before you know it, your cup is empty and you are in a sweet state of satisfaction.
I recommend enjoying Puddin’ as an appetizer before your dinner plans to beat the rush, not that you will need anything else to eat after 8oz of bliss. As the sign says, must come along before it’s gone! Happy Eating!
On a sugar high in purple tights. I caught the girl in the background at quite a moment.
Information retrieved from http://www.puddinnyc.com, http://www.Nytimes.com (Puddin’ By Clio Opening in the Village, Puddin’ By Clio Gets Whisked Away by Customer Demand) and http://www.foodtimeline.org January 2012.