I've noticed two or 3 kinds of bread puddings and I'm not sure if it's regional differences or, like "Hungarian goulash" there are 500 variations of the recipe around. Does anyone have a good source to how the 2 types came about? I Googled and just found a reference to New Orleans style in 1901, and a mention that bread pudding likely originated in England in the 1600's.
New Orleans style: very bready and dry, usually cut in squares from a larger pan, and served with some kind of sauce on top (Whiskey sauce, bourbon sauce, caramel sauce, vanilla sauce, etc.) which is the only way (to me) to make this palatable. I generally DO NOT prefer this style.
"Deli / Diner" style: I had this kind growing up in New Jersey. Usually about an inch of almost-breadiness on top, with the bottom being almost all egg custard. Usually baked, like many custards, in single-serving crocks or ramekins. Sometimes these had some kind of fruit sauce smeared on top, and usually (in a diner) served with whipped cream on top. I really like the bread pudding that is very custard-y like this.
"Supermarket" style: I've found this in supermarkets in New Jersey, New York, and Pennsylvania. Basically the same as Diner style, but in the deli counter section of the supermarket in large aluminum foil trays, and you buy by-the-pound. These also seem to have the fruit sauce on top but in almost a gelatin glaze.
So I'm wondering if the "diner style" that I prefer is limited to NY/NJ/PA or whether it's more widespread.