x Abu Dhabi, UAEFriday 28 July 2017

This year's culinary hot property: Christmas pudding with a surprise

Heston Blumenthal, the chef/alchemist who invented snail porridge, has produced a Christmas pudding for Waitrose. It has already been purchased by 25,000 people.

As November draws to a close and thoughts turn, with alarming speed, towards Yuletide activities, it seems that this year's culinary craze has already been established. Heston Blumenthal, the chef/alchemist who invented, among other dishes, snail porridge, has produced a Christmas pudding for Waitrose. It has already been purchased by a staggering 25,000 people.

While we won't be giving any prizes to the person who correctly guesses which candied fruit you'll find encased in Heston's Hidden Orange Christmas Pudding, we might just reward you if you can get your hands on one. The supermarket has already sold out of the much-coveted dessert in the UK, and internet forums are awash with suggestions of how to make your own at home.

This isn't the first time that a Christmas ingredient has been bought in huge quantities following celebrity chef endorsement. In 2006, Nigella Lawson declared that the road to roast potato perfection was a goose fat-paved one. Needless to say, sales rocketed.

Ultimately though, in these situations it is Queen Delia who reigns supreme. This is, after all, the woman whose cranberry sauce recipe was so popular that it caused a national shortage of the fruit. Her name appears as a noun in the Collins English Dictionary and the term "Delia effect" is commonly used to describe the stampede of purchases that are made whenever she recommends an ingredient or product. Now that's power.