Traditional Black Pudding

12th March 2016 Research

Black pudding is a Blood Sausage

The black pudding has a rich and interesting history all of its own, stretching back over thousands of years and many countries, but in Great Britian, the black pudding is a essential ingredient of the full English breakfast.

Black pudding is a kind of sausage, except that unlike normal sausages, you make it with blood. To make a black pudding, you must cook blood mixed with a filler (oatmeal) until it is thick enough to congeal when cooled.

The very first time that the black pudding appeared in literature was in 800 BC, when black pudding was mentioned in Homer's classic saga 'The Odyssey'. Homer famously described the way people felt then about black puddings and wrote :

As when a man besides a great fire has filled a sausage with fat and blood and turns it this way and that and is very eager to get it quickly roasted.

Later on in the Odyssey, Homer had his champiom Odysseus get into a fight “around the sausage” for a prize of a stomach stuffed with pig blood and fat. Clearly Homer was a man who liked his black pudding.

Black pudding was not just food for the poor, it was also food fit for the nobility and the extravagant breakfast banquets held by King Henry VIII at Hampton Court always included black pudding on the table.


Black Pudding Is Controversial in Religious Circles

In the 17th century, the consumption of black pudding was a fairly controversial subject and a theological debate fiercely raged round it, with many Christian scholars (particularly Methodists) believing that nobody should eat it at all.

Right in the middle of these arguments about the black pudding (which dominated much of the late 16th and early 17th centuries), was the famous Sir Isaac Newton who was famously vocal in his dislike of black pudding and refusal to eat it at breakfast time.

Those against the eating of blood products claimed that the Apostles ruled that Christians must not eat blood and claimed Newton’s abstinence from black pudding as non-religious support of their beliefs. 

In the “Trial of a Black-Pudding”, written in 1652, Thomas Barlow, a future bishop of Lincoln, asserted that God had specifically proscribed blood eating among the Hebrews. Barlow claimed that no meat was unclean in itself, but that black pudding was a violation of both Jewish law and the Christian exemptions as dispensed by the Apostles.

By the time of Sir Isaac Newton’s death (in 1727), both parties on either side of the black-pudding debate had been feuding for almost 100 years and still to this day the subject of black pudding creates disgust in some and hunger in others.

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Black Pudding Is A Regional Delicacy

Black pudding has always been considered a regional delicacy in some parts of England, specifically in the Black Country, Stornoway and the North West, especially in Lancashire, where in the town of Ramsbottom is home to international famous World Black Pudding Throwing Championships, a fun event for all the family.

Expatriates and British citizens who voyaged overseas took the tradition with them and as a result, black pudding is now part of the local cuisine of New Zealand and the Canadian provinces of Nova Scotia and Newfoundland and Labrador.

Another kind of blood sausage called a white pudding is an essential ingredient of traditional Scottish and Irish breakfasts. Black and white pudding, as well as a third variant, red pudding, is often served as an alternative to fish and chips.


A Healthy Alternative

If you are concerned about your diet, Black pudding is a very healthy dish and an good source of protein, it is also essentially carb-free, making it an ideal British sausage replacement if you are on a low carb diet.

There are relatively few calories in black pudding, especially when compared with other types of sausage and back pudding is rich in iron and zinc, two nutrients that are frequently missing from the average adult’s body.

So if you like meat and you’re ready to try something healthier and different, give black pudding a try ! 

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Author : Guise Bule

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