While at my local grocery store recently, I made an interesting
discovery. On a shelf of the small bookcase that constitutes
the “British” section, I found a boxed mix for…Yorkshire
Pudding! It was even made in Yorkshire (says so right on
the box) and then shipped all the way here from jolly ol’
England. Imagine that! So, of course, I just had to buy it.
Then the other evening, I made it. Now, the directions say
to pour the mixed batter either into individual “patty tins”
or into one large “baking tin.” I decided on the latter and
used my cast iron skillet:
I think it came out beautifully, yes?! It was pretty exciting.
And it was delicious, as well. HUZZAH!
Now, while my store-bought Yorkshire pud mix-in-a-box was
baking, I began wondering about two things: Why is it called
Yorkshire pudding; and, Is it the same as a popover? I’ve
probably made literally hundreds of the latter through the
years (most were “from scratch” BTW). I’ve even eaten
quite a few of the former, as well, particularly on those
British-owned and operated cruise ships. For the most
part, though, I’ve always thought that there isn’t any
difference between the two, and in fact, that they’re
one and the same. But am I correct?
So I turned to that ol’ reliable resource, the Oxford English
Dictionary (OED). In general, it says, Yorkshire is the name
of the largest county in northern England. Or, at least it was,
until 1974 when the area was split into the three separate
counties of North, West, and South Yorkshire, all as a result
of a local government re-organization. However, it also states
that the word Yorkshire:
is still used to loosely designate the region.
Old habits die hard, I guess!
The OED definition then continues with the following:
1b. Applied to things originating in or
cultivated especially in Yorkshire, as
Yorkshire ale, cabbage, cord…stone…
Yorkshire bond, cement…Yorkshire
pudding, a batter-pudding orig. [sic]
baked under meat, now usu. [sic]
cooked and served as a separate
item to accompany roast beef;
hence Yorkshire pud colloq. [sic];….
Ahhh, now I know the origins of the words Yorkshire pudding.
But wait, I still don’t know whether or not it’s the same thing
as a popover. The ingredients are the same, but still…. So
back to the OED; soon I found:
pop-over Chiefly U.S.
Also popover, pop over.
A very light cake made of flour,
milk, eggs, and butter (? so
called because it swells over
the edge of the tin in which
it is baked).
I gather popover is basically the American word for Yorkshire
pudding. They are very similar in their ingredients and in how
they’re prepared. The only difference might be the “swells over
the edge of the tin” part. And yet, my Yorkshire pud box-mix
swelled. Besides, a question mark does precede that phrase.
I think it IS the same. Besides, the definitive answer may just
be in the photo that’s on the front of the Yorkshire-Pudding-
They sure look like popovers to me!
UP NEXT: Historic receipts (recipes) for Yorkshire pudding…and
maybe one or two for popovers, as well