1. A dessert that's typically thick and soft, and which may be served cold or hot. Whereas custards are characteristically light and always set with eggs, puddings can be thickened variously with anything from eggs to cornstarch to flour. They can be light in texture (such as blancmange) or more dense (as with bread pudding). 2. The term "pudding" can also refer to non-sweet mixtures, such as a savory bread pudding flavored with cheese and studded with vegetables. 3. A British term used generically for "dessert." 4. The label "pudding" is also applied to foods that aren't puddings at all, such as blood pudding and yorkshire pudding.
From The Food Lover's Companion, Fourth edition by Sharon Tyler Herbst and Ron Herbst. Copyright © 2007, 2001, 1995, 1990 by Barron's Educational Series, Inc.