I hasten to add that spotted dick is a traditional English pudding, thick, rich, steamed and full of succulent currants – which give it the spots. We normally serve it with lashings of home-made custard, but ice cream will do if you’re stuck. Spotted dick is the pudding of old England. It’s on the menu of the best private schools, the finest gentlemen’s clubs, even the House of Lords. Dukes won’t go without it. Archbishops pray for it. Generals fight over it and – basically – every real Englishman loves it. Except, I’m ashamed to report, the politically correct nonentities who run the hospitals in the English county of Gloucestershire.
Three years ago they banned spotted dick, thus depriving hundreds of sick and needy patients of a favourite and nutricious food. Well not quite. They didn’t ban the dish itself. They merely decreed that spotted dick, the name, might be misconstrued as very vulgar. So they invented a new name – Spotted Richard. Trouble is no one knew what Spotted Richard was. And no one ordered it. And pudding after delicious sticky pudding went to waste simply because Spotted Richard couldn’t conceivably be the same as good old spotted dick, could it? People complained. A fierce correspondence began. Even the pages of the specialist catering journals were packed with comment and counter comment as the issue of the name of the great English pudding was debated.
But now, at last, a breath of sanity. The politically correct nonentities of Gloucestershire have bowed to public pressure. The patients are feeling better already, because Richard has been banished and Spotted Dick is back. And a good job, too.