Originally Posted by kristchan
bread pudding > instant pudding > * > blood pudding
Instant pudding is second rate at best. Buy the real pudding that you need to cook over the stove - it may take an extra 15 minutes to prepare, and you need to chill it properly for best results, but it's a dozen times better - in taste, consistency, and usefulness in preparing other desserts. Instant pudding is typically too thin. The heating of the regular cooked pudding allows the starches to puff up, swell and interlock all nicely together providing that smoothness found only in cooked pudding. Most starches don't begin to do that till near a simmer (same thing you'd experience when making a stew or gravy and thickening with a starch). Also, the way instant puddings are when the starches gelatinize, they often trap other starch particles inside these masses of gelatinized starch, making for lumps unless you use an electric mixer on a good setting - arm power won't cut it. Then again, you should avoid instant pudding at all costs anyways.