All in the name: Two Things Named after Yorkshire

As frequent readers of these pages should know, Yorkshire has given the world a lot of important things. From the industrial revolution, to famous foods and musicians, this Northern county has been a hub of creativity for hundreds of years. But, as far as we know, only two world-famous things have spread the Yorkshire name around the world along with their success. These are:

Yorkshire Pudding

The first recorded evidence of this meat dripping and batter based savoury pudding comes from a recipe book in 1737. Called The Whole Duty of a Woman, it referred to them as ‘dripping pudding’, however the origins of the modern dish can certifiably be seen in the recipe which calls for:

‘A good batter as for pancakes; put in a hot toss-pan over the fire with a bit of butter to fry the bottom a little then put the pan and butter under a shoulder of mutton, instead of a dripping pan. Frequently shake it by the handle and it will be light and savoury, and fit to take up when your mutton is enough’.

The next cookbook writer to take up the Yorkshire Pudding (and give its rightful name) was Hannah Glasse in her 1747 best-seller The Art of Cookery Made Plain and Easy. Being one of the most popular cooking writers of the time, the Yorkshire pudding soon spread all over the UK.

Historians note the crispiness of the batter compared to other pancake recipes of the time. This is attributed to the Yorkshire fondness for coal ovens, which produce a higher heat, as the region has been rich in coal deposits and a hub for mining for hundreds of years. Today, such companies as Aunt Bessie’s (formed in Hull in 1995) export Yorkshire Puddings all over the globe and the Sunday roast staple has become an icon of British cooking.

Yorkshire Terriers

Yorkshire Terriers are small but energetic dog breeds, with a reputation for mischievous behaviour and their ultra-cute shaggy-haired appearance. They are genuinely Yorkshire natives – descended from Waterside Terriers of Scotland, they were first bought to the region in the mid-19th century by Scottish migrants looking for industrial work. Yorkshire locals soon noticed the Terrier’s easy propensity for catching rats, and over the next hundred years they were bred to hunt down the pesky rodents in textile mills and coal mines across the county. The first true Yorkshire Terrier was known as Huddersfield Ben, and he won prize places at a total of 74 dog shows across the country – further popularising this new breed.

The Yorkshire Terrier was introduced to America in 1872, where the following for Victorian fashions ensured they were instantly popular. However, by the 1940s their popularity had declined somewhat. That was until pictures of the cutesy war-dog Smoky returned from the frontlines of World War II and bought the breed to public attention once more. Today they are one of the most popular dog breeds for domestic owners, in both the US and the UK.