National Vanilla Custard Day in the United States is an unofficial national holiday which is celebrated on the 17th of August. This should not be confused with National Vanilla Pudding Day which is celebrated on the 22nd of May, pudding and custard differ greatly.
Custard can be a whole variety of dishes and varies in consistency. The base for all custards should be egg yolks, cream or milk, and other desired ingredients, in this case vanilla. Custard consistency can vary from a thin sauce that is poured over different foods, to a thick sauce that is used to fill sweet and savory pastries. The additional ingredients are what helps to determine if the dish, in this case custard, will be sweet or savory.
Vanilla custard is a sweet dish and a delicacy. Vanilla is a spice and is one of the most expensive spices in its natural form, not the extract form. With the high cost many cooks will use substitutes or vanilla extracts to mimic the flavor of vanilla because they are cheaper to manufacture and buy. Vanilla custard can be eaten alone or as an accompaniment to another dish.
Vanilla custard has been served since The Middle Ages when it was used as a filling for pies. In this time period, simple custard tarts were created and were a popular sweet dessert option. They were considered a delicacy because of their rich sweetness and how rare vanilla was. Custard has evolved since these times to become a popular staple cuisine.
As the years pass, traditions change. There are now varieties of custard that are being manufactured to be egg free. These are manufactured in powdered forms which can be mixed with milk to create the perfect consistency of custard. These quick and easy custard mixes are increasingly popular in American households where cooks don’t have the time to prepare long drawn out desserts. However, traditional vanilla custard would call for a mixture of cream or milk and egg yolks to be slowly heated until cooked. Vanilla is one of the most popular flavor options to add into a custard and is usually the poster flavor for custards. Today, ingredients such as corn starch, flour, and gelatin can be added to help improve the consistency of vanilla custard.
The best way to celebrate National Vanilla Custard Day in the United States is to create your own vanilla custard with your family. There are thousands of recipes out there that promote vanilla custard as one of the star dishes, all you have to do is pick one. If you find you don’t have time for one of the traditional recipes then choose from a variety of commercially available ready custard mixes. Creating dessert with the family can be a rewarding experience and the results will always be delicious. If all else fails, custard is available in many restaurants in the United States, pop into your favorite one and enjoy a small dish of vanilla custard on Vanilla Custard Day.