In British and Irish Recipes, What is Black Pudding?

A Full English Breakfast
A Full English Breakfast. Photo © RFB Photography

If you want diners at the table divided, then serve a black pudding. Some will shriek in horror at the thought of eating blood (one of the ingredients in a black pudding) others will be delighted to have a slice or two of the spicy sausage fried.

 Why the brooding, dark sausage is called a pudding is a mystery, there is nothing pudding-like about it. Black pudding pops up everywhere in both British and Irish Food.

It is most often, but not exclusively, as part of a Full Breakfast.  

What is the Definition of Black Pudding?

Black pudding is not a pudding but a sausage made from pigs' blood, onions, herbs, spices, oatmeal or barley.  When made well the flavour will be mild and slightly sweet despite the spices; it is the combination of all the ingredients including the blood which together create the unique flavour. 

How is Black Pudding Served?

Black Pudding is usually sliced and fried and served with breakfast, but often the pudding is also crumbled and included in other dishes such as mashed potatoes, bubble and squeak and gravy.  Adding the pudding to other dishes enriches the dish and oodles of flavour. Black pudding has had something of a resurgence in popularity with chefs in Britain and appears on menus in both traditional and contemporary menus. 

The History of Black Pudding:

Black pudding is no new-fangled ingredient; it has been around forever.

The pudding was produced as a way of using up the blood for the slaughter of the pig in a time nothing was ever wasted. It has survived down the centuries and fell out of favour in the 60's but as mentioned above, is once again recognised for the delicious food it is (for those who like it). 

Black pudding is not only made in Britain and Ireland, many European and Scandinavian countries make their own versions of the pudding, some vary the spicing but essentially, the method is very much the same.

 

Other Names for Black Pudding

Black Pudding is also called a Blood pudding and in Ireland is known as Disheen. In France, Black Pudding is known as Boudin Noir and the Spanish  word for black pudding is morcilla. 

There is also a Black Pudding Society as well as festivals and competitions held to celebrate the famous pudding proving just how popular black pudding is and why it has been part of British food as long as it has. 

Black Pudding is served many ways but a favourite is as part of a full English, Scottish (alongside haggis)  or Irish breakfast