Dutch Baby or Yorkshire Pudding? Brits Argue Their Savory Dish Should Never Go Sweet
Hungry Brits and Americans can argue all day over semantics: Are they biscuits or cookies? Does scone rhyme with "gone" or "cone?" Chips and crisps or fries and chips? But in the end, all of those delicious items are the same thing. A cookie by any other name would taste as sweet. However, when the New York Times recently tweeted out a recipe for a fluffy Dutch Baby pancake, some of our friends across the pond took issue with the un-savory application of, what they claim, is actually Yorkshire Pudding.
In a seemingly innocent-enough move, the Times posted the above recipe as any publication with a recipe section would do. But the photo included seemed to spark something in the U.K. as one user's response heralded an onslaught of outraged reactions.
Then came the cries of hipster-appropriation for some reason:
When did the New York Times recipe section become a hipster zine? But there were some defenders of the Dutch Baby, some citing that they had eaten both and believed them to be very different things. Included in that mix is British chef and television presenter Nigella Lawson who happened to Tweet her own recipe just days prior:
We asked our own (albeit American-born) test kitchen staff what they thought of the controversy. To our collective mind, it really comes down to two factors: ingredients/preparation and cooking vessels. "They're all popovers! Different cooking vessels, different accompaniments, otherwise very similar," test kitchen manager Kelsey Youngman said. "Probably the biggest difference, in my opinion, would be Yorkshire Pudding uses the beef drippings to grease the popover pan, while a Dutch Baby uses melted butter in a cast iron skillet. One might add a touch of sugar to a Dutch Baby batter, as well." Test kitchen assistant David McCann added another, we thought, very important point: "People should just enjoy it!"
Why this kerfuffle is blowing up right now, is a bit of a mystery since Dutch babies are nothing new and the NYT recipe itself is a couple of years old, at least. Indeed, I've been enjoying Dutch babies for decades since discovering them at the Original Pancake House as a kid and making them my go-to order at Elmer's on weekend getaways to Palm Springs. I take them with a bit of butter, confectioners sugar, and a wedge of lemon. No beef in sight.
Whether you're a Yorkshire traditionalist or an experimental Dutch Baby enthusiast (or just curious about both), here's a berry-filled recipe for a Dutch Baby and a lemon ricotta blueberry version, along with our recipe for Cheshire cheese-filled sage and black pepper Yorkshire pudding. There, is everyone happy?