‘Bless me,’ cried Jack, with a loving look at its glistening, faintly translucent sides, ‘a spotted dog!’ —The Ionian Mission by Patrick O’Brien Spotted Dick, ever a favorite pudding through the years, has as much a spotted history as complexion. As for the name, it’s a case of the chicken and the egg. Known to have been served in Britain for over 200 years, this sweet cakey, currenty treat was a favorite of Captin Jack Aubrey, hero of the Patrick O’Brien novels. Legends trace it back to England, and even Ireland (where it is called Sweet Cake, Curnie Cake or Railway Cake). As old as Christmas Pudding, itself, one has to wonder, where did the name come from? Is it, as someone has suggested, a derivation of Spotted Pudding? That theory holds that “Pudding” was shortened to “Puddink”, from there to “Puddick” and then just “Dick.” Other histories call it Spotted Dog, and while this may be editing on behalf of good taste, it makes sense. The Dalmation Club of America states that: The [Dalmation’s] first case of public popularity occurred in England [in the 18th century]. It is suggested that having been brought by gypsies and used as clowns, performers, guardians and companions, the public recognized the intelligence of the breed and became an instant hit with all who saw them. Through the years the Dalmatian has had many nicknames among the British people. A few of these are the English Coach Dog, the Plum Pudding Dog, the Fire
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