Spotted Dick” dessert renamed “Spotted Richard” in U.K. Parliament dining room

Illustration for article titled “em/emSpotted Dick”em/em dessert renamed “em/emSpotted Richard”em/em in U.K. Parliament dining roomem/em
Photo: MargoeEdwards (iStock / Getty Images Plus)

The English favor desserts consisting of a solid cake-like pudding covered with sauce, like plum pudding with hard sauce, or spotted dick. The latter is a type of sponge cake made with suet, dotted with currents, and topped with custard. The name’s a bit of a head-scratcher, although the currants seem to fill in the “spotted” part. Apparently “dick” was a common name for “pudding” (a.k.a. dessert in the U.K.) back in the 19th century—“spotted dick” was subsequently such a hilarious name, it just stuck around.

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That’s changing, however: The Telegraph reports that in the Strangers’ Dining Room, the 19th-century restaurant used by members of Parliament, Spotted Dick, available on the “traditional desserts” menu, is now known as Spotted Richard “to spare MPs’ blushes.” Waiting staff members confirmed the name, but “were less forthcoming when asked for an explanation, stating only that ‘Richard’ was less likely to cause a stir with guests.”

It’s not the first time the unusually named dessert has attempted a name change: The Telegraph says a decade ago, supermarket chain Tesco changed the name to Spotted Richard to apparently appease embarrassed female shoppers. But this latest effort is widely considered “very silly” in the restaurant—across the pond, we agree. The Telegraph says that Michael Fabricant, the Conservative MP for Lichfield, commented, “Call a dick a dick, I say!” Hear, hear.

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Gwen Ihnat is the Editorial Coordinator for The A.V. Club.

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DISCUSSION

That is the dumbest thing... I get them wanting to change it, the wait staff are probably sick of the juvenile jokes made to them about it, but why can’t they call it “spotted pudding” instead? The Dick/Richard thing just draws attention to the change.