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The Mania Around Heston Blumenthal’s Waitrose Christmas Pudding

Published by Ema Lotridge

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Heston Blumenthal’s “Hidden Orange” Christmas pudding, created specially for Waitrose stores has received a huge amount of media attention since its launch in November. But why is it so popular and why is the supply of the pudding so limited?

What is Heston Blumenthal’s Hidden Orange Christmas Pudding?

Heston’s Christmas pudding from the outside, looks like a normal Christmas pudding, packed with festive spices and dark fruit. But when it is cut, it reveals a whole Valencian candied orange in the centre. The citrussy flavour of the orange then permeates through to the rest of the pudding, giving it an unusual, fragrant twist.

The Christmas pudding has been on sale in Waitrose supermarkets for £13.99. As interest increased, the pudding quickly sold out, leaving many customers disappointed. The Telegraph has reported that the last few thousand puddings will be stacked on Waitrose shelves next week, but are expected to sell out almost immediately.


Why Has There Been So Much Hype Over The Pudding?

Firstly, the pudding has been created by one of the most ground breaking chefs of our generation: Heston Blumenthal. Known for his unusual twist on gastronomic treats including Egg and Bacon Ice Cream and Snail Porridge, many people would jump at the chance to try a dish he has created. As a tasting menu at The Fat Duck, his restaurant in Berkshire, costs £160 per person, the pudding represents a chance for consumers to try Heston’s food, at the reasonable cost of £13.99.

Secondly, stocks of the pudding are extremely short-lived. It was reported in The Telegraph on 5th December that Northern Foods, the company who produced the pudding, had bought up the entire supply of the pudding’s key ingredient – the Valencian candied orange. Now having run out of the oranges it is not just a simple case of making more puddings to cater for demand.

One of the other things that fuels a sale more than anything else is panic. Once reports started to come through in the press that the pudding was selling out, more people wanted to get their hands on this piece of culinary history, resulting in huge prices being offered for those lucky enough to have got their hands on the pudding.

What Attention Has Heston’s Christmas Pudding Received?

At the time of writing, one of the puddings listed on the online auction site Ebay has received 30 bids – bringing the price up to £522 – with still three hours left to bid. The others are currently selling for around £50 each. The Telegraph have even posted a video on their website showing disappointed customers how they can make the “Hidden Orange” pudding themselves – but prepare for the seven hours it will take to steam.

With all the media and public attention this Christmas pudding has received, it seems that Waitrose’s efforts to restock as best they can before Christmas will be futile. With only a few thousand puddings to be made available next week, many customers will still feel disappointed that they were unable to try this unusual dish after their Christmas lunch. However, for those lucky enough to have one of these puddings sitting ready in their kitchen, this is a chance to taste a piece of history. People are sure to be talking about this pudding – and the hype surrounding it – for many Christmasses to come.

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