Don’t let the name fool you: black pudding is not a chocolate dessert, but a type of blood sausage that is a staple of British and Irish breakfasts. Made from pig or cow blood, fat, and cereal, black pudding has a crumbly texture and a rich, earthy flavor that goes well with eggs, bacon, and toast. But how did this dish become so popular? And what are some of the ways to enjoy it?
Blood sausage is one of the oldest forms of sausage, dating back to ancient times. It was a way of using up every part of the animal after slaughter, and avoiding waste. As “A type of blood sausage, black pudding is at once a staple British product, worthy of its place in any full English breakfast, and a controversial ingredient in the same way that offal and sweetbreads are.” (Great British Chefs)
Black pudding is made in different ways around the world, using various animal bloods, fillers, and seasonings. In France, boudin noir is flavored with onions and spices; in Spain, morcilla is mixed with rice and paprika; in Germany, blutwurst is stuffed with meat and bread. But “The most traditional recipes from the UK involve stirring the fresh blood, adding fat and some form of rusk, typically oats or barley, and seasoning, before filling the mixture into a casing and boiling it.” (Tastes Of History)
Black pudding has been a part of British culture for centuries. It was mentioned in Shakespeare’s plays, eaten by royalty and peasants alike, and even used as a weapon in a Lancashire folk festival. It has also been associated with good health and luck, as well as superstition and magic. “Blood serves as a spectacular food binder, much like egg whites, giving the sausage its smooth texture.” (Travel Gluttons)
Black pudding is not only a breakfast favorite, but also a versatile ingredient for other dishes. It can be used to make pies, stews, salads, and even ice cream. Some chefs pair it with scallops or apples for a contrast of flavors and textures. It can also be grilled, baked, or fried to create different effects. “Black pudding would disappoint any diner looking for dessert.” (First We Feast) But for those who love its savory flavor and history, it is a delicious way to start the day.