(WYTV) – What’s the origin of that expression “the proof is in the pudding?”
What proof are we looking for, and what kind of pudding are we talking about?
The Oxford Dictionary of Proverbs dates the expression to the 1600’s, four centuries ago.
We’re not talking about the smooth dessert we eat today with whipped cream. It was a crazy mixture of minced meat, spices, cereal and sometimes blood, all crammed into a sausage casing and steamed or boiled.
The closest we’d eat today would be traditional Scottish haggis.
Preserving food way back then was not an exact science, so there was always a chance that any meat dish could sicken or kill you.
The only way to find out if it was dangerous was to dig in.
The expression is really less about the proof being in the pudding and more about eating the pudding to find the proof.
Proof that it’s ok.
“The proof is in the pudding” is actually an abbreviated version of the full phrase, “the proof of the pudding is in the eating.”
We’ve been using the short version since around 1860.