Black Pudding: This’ll Put Hair on Your Eyebrows

Thanks to damndelicious.co.uk for the image.

Here’s one of the most controversial British dishes around. Thought spotted dick and toad in the hole were mental? Welcome to the world of black pudding.

What’s Black Pudding?

It’s blood sausage. As in, it’s made of pork blood. But the likes of porridge is added to the mix to make it more palatable.

Now, this is an English delicacy. Believe it or not. The term derives from the French boudin. A term for pudding, which is taken from the Latin term for “small sausage” (lol).

The dish has clearly been around for a fair old while, then, but was traditionally thought of as a food during Martinmas.

Although pork blood is the go-to thing, ages back the nobility in the UK would use the likes of porpoise blood. Crazy times, eh?

Whereas these days it’s another popular pub grub stable, such as full English breakfasts and hot pot.

Despite black pudding’s roots in Lancashire, there’s a strong Scottish love for the stuff as well. That and haggis (which we’ll get to another time).

Obviously, the dish is as meaty as it gets. And it’s about as rustic as it gets, for the North of England comfort food.

With our strong northern dialect up here, it’s no surprise the first recording of the dish was in 1450—”blak podyngs”. Ee ba gum.

Are You Sure Black Pudding is Edible?

Yes. Lots of people eat it daily. In fact, black pudding is something of a national favourite. Think along the lines of toad in the hole and bangers and mash.

It’s just reet proper grub that we’re all used to eating oop norf. As you can see Michael Palin pay homage to from his 1979 series Ripping Yarns.

However, that doesn’t change the fact that black pudding looks pretty revolting during its creation process. Like a giant slop bucket.

But it is rather tasty when you’re chowing down on the stuff. And although it looks incredibly unhealthy, it’s a good source of zinc and iron. Some even class it as a superfood due to its nutritional values.

Just don’t go eating it too often, you hear? The stuff still tends to be very high in saturated fat.

How Do You Make Black Pudding?

To save yourself about 13 years, it’s advisable to buy some of the stuff from a shop.

We don’t think it’s actually possible to make the stuff in your own kitchen. The prep process is too complex.

Anyway, as the bald Scottish gentleman kindly explain up above, it’s really a case of lightly frying the stuff. You then eat it.

The dish is also oddly versatile—there’s a thing up north for black pudding ice cream. It’s also common for fish & chips shops (chippies) to offer a deep fried black pudding (for maximum heart health).

And here in Manchester, there’s this thing called the “Manchester egg”—a scotch egg with black pudding fried into the middle. Nice, eh?

World Black Pudding Throwing Championships

Although this sounds like some absurd sport we’d invent for the hell of it, this is a real event held in Ramsbottom.

It’s a market town in Bury with commanding views of fancy local countryside.

Now, it’s a humorous event. Kind of like the insane running of the cheese in Gloucestershire.

Local legend has it the event dates back to The War of the Roses! During the civil war, factions ran out of ammunition and began pelting food at each other. Deadly.

The championship plays on the rivalry between Lancashire and Yorkshire. Participants lob black puddings at piles of Yorkshire puddings in an attempt to topple them.

The event normally runs each September and draws a crowd of thousands to Ramsbottom. Whoever said the Brits are eccentric, eh?

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