“People don’t take it very kindly when you ask for spotted dick,” Tony Lomanto of Kuma’s Corner says. Challenged by Pat Niebling of b>Three Floyds Brewpub to create a dish with the British dessert, Lomanto and his sous chef, Anthony Alfonsi, called a couple of stores in search of it—eliciting mixed reactions—before ordering it online. While it’s possible to make the steamed suet pudding from scratch, the dessert with the chuckle-worthy name also comes in cans. (In 2009, a British catering company briefly changed the name to “Spotted Richard” on its menus in an attempt to avoid “unwelcome and childish comments,” as a spokesman told the Telegraph, before public outrage forced them to reinstate the original name.)
Spotted dick tastes like cinnamon and gingerbread—”kind of fruity,” says Lomanto. (The dessert has raisins in it, which is where the “spotted” part comes from.) “Weird taste, weird texture. It’s super bizarre.” Naturally, the pair figured out a way to put their assigned ingredient on a burger. “We were scratching our heads for a while,” Lomanto says. “We just went with stuff that we know.”
The spotted dick itself they used two ways: crumbled and dried as a burger topping, and crumbled into a buttermilk batter, which they used to coat spiral-cut apples that they then deep-fried. It being Kuma’s, of course, they didn’t stop there. Honey-chipotle yogurt went on the bun as a base for the ten-ounce burger, which was then topped with bacon, cinnamon goat cheese, the deep-fried apples, a fried egg, and finally the crumbled spotted dick.
Taking a bite, Lomanto commented, “That’s some of the best dick I’ve ever had. What about you?” he asked, turning to Alfonsi. “Oh yeah,” Alfonsi agreed. As for whether he’d put the burger on the Kuma’s menu, Lomanto shrugged. “Why not? Fuck it.”
Lomanto has challenged Christine Cikowski and Joshua Kulp of Honey Butter Fried Chicken to create a dish with ant eggs.