Tomato Pudding: 'Taste It To Believe It' Listeners have been writing in telling us about their unique holiday food. Heather MacDonald of Mahnattan Beach, Calif., says tomato pudding is straight-up, old-school Midwestern holiday fare.

Tomato Pudding: 'Taste It To Believe It'

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A few weeks ago, we asked listeners to tell us about their favorite holiday foods. Not conventional dishes; something that's only made this time of year, something unique to their families or popular where they live. Well, we asked for unique and we're going to give you one example of what we heard back.

Heather MacDonald of Manhattan Beach, California wrote in to introduce us to tomato pudding.

HEATHER MACDONALD: It consists of tomato paste, butter, boiling water, salt and brown sugar. And then we like to insist that you use Wonder Bread because it's nice and mushy and it just makes it taste the best.

INSKEEP: Mmm, the first ingredients are cooked together and poured over pieces of the cut-up Wonder Bread. Then it's baked in the oven. Heather describes the dish as both sweet and savory.

MACDONALD: It does have a taste of tomato to it, but you can also taste the sugars. And then, due to the bread, it also has a little bit of a pudding feel to it. It is something that 100 percent makes my mouth water as soon as I start to think of it.

INSKEEP: And yet, she is not quite sure how the tradition got started.

MACDONALD: I know that it was passed down through my father's side of the family and I know that he has some Canadian roots. We feel like it may come from there. I only know of one other person that has ever heard of tomato pudding in my whole life.

INSKEEP: Heather MacDonald admits this rather unique concoction may not sound very good to eat, but insists that descriptions do not really do tomato pudding justice.

MACDONALD: It's one of those things you have to taste it to believe it. And initially, it does sound rather disgusting. I actually cannot stand tomatoes, so it's kind of humorous that I actually look forward to tomato pudding twice a year.

INSKEEP: OK, so there you have it. And maybe you're going to be looking forward to tomato pudding soon, because you can find photos as well as the recipe for the pudding and other holiday treats at


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