At first glance, you may think that the above Pumpkin Peanut Puff Pudding is nothing more than an innocent sweet breakfast (or quick dessert) that ticks all the vegan, gluten-free, non-threatening, sweet yet healthful, delicious, moreish, and irresistible (particularly when topped with mini chocolate chips) boxes.
However, this breakfast/dessert is more than that. My peanut butter pumpkin pudding is a refutation, or perhaps proof positive (I haven’t quite decided yet), of Bourdieu’s theories of cultural capital and cultural hegemony, as defined and discussed in his seminal work La Distinction.
On the one hand, we have ingredients liked organic canned pumpkin, unsweetened vanilla almond milk, coconut flour, and mesquite powder, all of which can be classified as luxury goods available predominately to the cultural elite: those with the money, knowledge, and leisure time to be aware of, value, and have access to products (and “tastes”) classified by society as Healthful, Prestigious and [often thereby] Tied To Moral Virtue (“you are what you eat… and what you eat should by organic/local/ethical/healthy/virtuous”).
On the other hand, I threw in peanut butter-flavoured sugary kids’ cereal, blended it all up, and topped the resulting thick and creamy pudding with chocolate chips. Which is less in line with the Eat Only Homegrown Sprouted Polka-Dot Chickpeas And Foraged-By-The-Light-Of-A-Crescent-Moon Maqui Berries strain of cultural capital, and more, well, trashy, perhaps?
Of course, you’re more than welcome to simply call this recipe “delicious” and have that be that. It is, after all, a tasty and nourishing creation, with the nutty maltiness of the cereal, mesquite, and coconut flour combining well with the roundness of pumpkin and your chosen extract and sweetener.
But, see, sometimes I miss academic life and how it felt to thread together the theories of Bourdieu, Veblen, Baudrillard, and Foucault in such a way as to cast light on the way our world shudders and moves around us.
So I’m calling this my Capital Pudding. Because it is both capital (ol’ chum!) and potentially reflective of class capital.
Though I still haven’t decided whether it’s more high or low culture.
Pumpkin Peanut Puff Pudding, Vegan and Gluten-free
- 1/3 cup (heaping; 100g) pumpkin puree, canned or pureed
- 1/2 cup unsweetened vanilla almond milk, or any non-dairy milk
- 1/2 cup (heaping; 25g) Peanut Butter Panda Puffs, or similar peanut butter cereal (*cough Reese’s Puffs cough*)
- 1 tb coconut flour
- 1/4 tsp almond extract (or vanilla extract)
- 1/4 tsp mesquite powder (or cinnamon)
- pinch salt
- sweetener, to taste (coconut sugar, maple or agave syrup, or stevia)
- chocolate chips, to garnish
1. Are you ready for this? PUREE EVERYTHING (except the chocolate chips) in a blender until gloriously smooth and thick. You can now enjoy this straightaway, or put in the fridge for an hour or so, at which point the pudding will thicken up gorgeously and you will be very happy. Garnish with chocolate chips before serving.
2. “Never resist a sentence you like, in which language takes its own pleasure and in which, after having abused it for so long, you are stupefied by its innocence.” – Jean Baudrillard, Cool Memories, Volume One.