by Don  

Somewhere on the North American continent there is a gringo who has studied Russian who someday will see the word пудинг and immediately think of Bill Cosby and his Jello pudding commercials. Nope, Russian pudding is not that. The dictionary at gramota.ru describes it like this:

Запеканка из крупы или муки, творога, мяса и т.п. с добавлением яиц, молока и разных пряностей. A baked pudding made of grain, flour, farmers cheese or meat, etc., combined with eggs, milk, and various spices.

One of the best пудинги of all time is творожный пудинг “farmers cheese pudding,” which is essentially a Russian cheesecake. Best of all, it's considered a dietetic dish that is especially healthy for children. If it's good for kids and can also be part of a meatless lifestyle, it obviously must be very healthy for adults, too! And what's even more interesting is that this cheesecake is made with «манная каша» “Cream of Wheat.” Doubtless you are now consumed with a desire for healthy cooking, so this link takes you to a bilingual recipe which I snagged from supercook.ru, and this link takes you to my cooking blog to see how I adapted it for personal production.

One last comment: I first encountered творожный пудинг in 1986 at Московский государственный университет. In the basement of the main building there was a shop that sold it along with other food items. They must have chosen the word пудинг because of the exotic sound of the word to the Russian ear. Students at МГУ could be counted on to be sophisticated enough to deal with that sort of thing, right? But really ordinary Russians almost never use the word пудинг. Instead they call this dish творожная запеканка.

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