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Cape Cod Plum Duff, A Sea-Going Dessert

Most landlubbers would turn pale at the thought of eating plum duff. No wonder! It was the sea-going dessert on whalers, clippers, and other long-distance sailing vessels, and a far cry from the delicious desserts prepared in thousands of homes ashore.

Plum duff was a pudding of a sort. The ship’s cook concocted it of flour, water, molasses, and raisins (which were the plums).

It was heavy enough to sink a ship, and no doubt “stood by” the man who ate it. Yet doubtless it was an improvement over the preceding course of salt pork and moldy or weevily bread or hard tack.

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Cape Cod
Posted by Cape Cod - (website) on 05/31/06
Categories: FoodHistory
Keywords: food, history, whaling


The biggest restaurant in nineteenth century New England was Marston’s in Boston, run by Capt. Russell Marston, born in Marstons Mills in 1811.  He began at age nine as a ship’s cook, serving the heavy dessert Plum Duff from a receipt his mother Sarah Adams Marston had taught him.

Posted by Jim Gould from Cotuit on 03/17/10 at 02:04 PM | #

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