The staple of the Sunday roast, the humble Yorkshire is loved all over the country.

Having undergone recent alterations which have seen the Yorkshire pudding being supersized and used as a street food wrap, to the simple home cooked version, there’s many ways to enjoy this quintessential British creation.

But how well do you know the Yorkshire pudding? Here are 12 (probably) unknown facts…

1. There was an annual Yorkshire pudding boat race

Who wouldn’t want to race down a river in Yorkshire pudding boat? Created in 1999 by Simon Thackray of music and poetry venue, The Shed, this annual race took place in the waters of North Yorkshire and saw participants race in boats made of water, flour and eggs.

2. There are two Yorkshire puddings days

We love the Yorkshire so much that there’s two Yorkshire pudding days – one in the UK (first Sunday in February) and one in America (13 October), known as National Yorkshire pudding day.

3. They weren’t always a side dish

These days we tend to tuck into our Yorkshires as part of a Sunday roast but this wasn’t always the case. Yorkshire puddings used to be standalone dishes in their own right at a time when they were a cheap and easy way to feed the family without having to buy expensive meat.

4. The recipe dates back to the 1700s

Yorkshire pudding facts

Picture: WikiMedia/W.Wangford

While many think it was Mrs Beeton that invented the Yorkshire in 1866, the recipe can be dated as far back as 1747 in the book The Art of Cookery Made Plain and Easy by Hannah Glasse.

Although some sources say a recipe for the Yorkshire appeared ten years earlier in a book called The Whole Duty of a Woman.

5. They’re not always for savoury dishes

As the Yorkshire pudding uses the same ingredients as a pancake, it’s not too much of a stretch to imagine that leftover puddings were often used as dessert that night or the next day – served with jam or fruit syrup.

Now there’s an abundance of Yorkshire pudding dessert recipes from profiteroles​ to crumble.

6. Aunt Bessie’s produces millions of puddings a year

One of the most popular brands of frozen Yorkshire puddings, Aunt Bessie’s produces more than 53 million packs of Yorkshire puddings every year from their factory in Hull.

7. To be authentic, there are strict measurements

Yorkshire puddings facts

Picture: PIxabay/cbertel

In order to be called a Yorkshire pudding, there must be a rise of at least 4 inches experts say.

In 2008 the Royal Society of Chemistry decreed that a Yorkshire pudding isn’t a Yorkshire pudding if it is less than four inches tall.

At the time they said: “The Society has ruled on the acceptable dimensions of the Yorkshire pudding and is now issuing the definitive recipe.”

8. Yorkshire puddings won’t rise as well in higher altitudes

The reason the Royal Society of Chemistry issued a judgement on Yorkshire height was due to an enquiry from a English man living in the Rockies in America, who got in touch with the RSC asking for advice on why his Yorkshires wouldn’t rise despite the recipe working when he stayed in lower altitudes.

9. There’s still an ongoing batter debate

Yorkshire pudding

Picture: WikiMedia

Does cold batter equal better puds? Or are you best not chilling it and making them as soon as the batter is made?

The Royal Society of Chemistry advises against chilling, claiming that to place pudding batter in the fridge before cooking is a “foolish act.”

Although famous chefs, like James Martin, tell you to chill your batter before baking.

10. Yorkshires used to be called dripping puddings

Traditionally meat would have been roasted on a spit over an open fire with the juices dripping down on to the batter puddings below.

This meant no wastage of the fat and also added flavour to the puddings. It was Hannah Glasse in her book, The Art of Cookery Made Plain and Easy, who re-named them Yorkshire puddings.

11. They were once square

Yorkshire pudding facts

Picture: WikiMedia

Despite knowing them now as light and tall creations cooked separately, the Yorkshire used to be cooked in a large, shallow tin before being cut into squares for serving.

12. Japan has a version of Yorkshire puddings

Takoyaki is a Japanese snack made with a flour-based batter and cooked in a special moulded pan (sound familiar?)

It is usually served with minced or diced octopus, tempura scraps, onion and pickled ginger.

About The Author

Let us know what you think