Is bread pudding the new crème brûlée?

Two facts in the interest of full disclosure:

  1. I love crème brûlée
  2. Bread pudding, not so much.

That’s not entirely true. There are certain parts of bread pudding that I do like. Like the crunchy cinnamon-y bread-stuff on top. It’s the bread that’s been soaked long enough to taste like pudding that doesn’t do much for me. (Incidentally, if more bread pudding looked like it does in this photo, I’d eat it. At least the crunchy top part of it. Of course, that’s Austin Leslie’s Creole Bread Pudding with Vanilla Whiskey Sauce from Pampy’s Restaurant in New Orleans, so I expect it to look infinitely edible.)

But lately I’ve noticed that bread pudding keeps showing up on menus of places I’ve recently been for lunch. A lot. Now, I’m not certain if this is because I don’t often eat dessert, so I’m hardly ever looking at these menus, or, if I do want dessert, I would just get crème brûlée. (See 1., above.)

The fact remains that it has certainly made its way onto some menus; even menus outside of MCL, where I would certainly expect to see it:  Eddie Merlot’s has it. Bravo has bread pudding. Heck, even BD’s Mongolian BBQ has it. So someone must be ordering it. (The lady at Bravo told us today that they make it every day in anticipation of the orders. Today they made enough for 20 servings. I neglected to ask how much crème brûlée they had on hand.)

Look, according to Wikipedia, crème brûlée is a dessert of French origin consisting of a rich custard base topped with contrasting layer of caramel that is often crystalized by flame. Bread pudding, by contrast, was invented by some bored English baker looking for some way to use his stale bread. So he soaked it in some stuff overnight, squeezed it out in the morning, tossed in a pan and baked it.

I think they added whiskey just to get someone to eat it.


  1. Heh. Stumbled across this post. I’m currently on a mission to try every bread pudding in Indianapolis (I love the stuff). Based on your post, you might like the bread pudding at Boulder Creek in Brownsburg. I still can’t find anything I like better than my mom’s though.

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