Black Pudding | The Sources
We will show you a number of ways in which to source your next Black Pudding fix. From the amazing Producers to the talented chefs creating innovative dishes, you can take the opportunity to try the amazing range of ‘puddings’ in the market place. You never know, you may find a new favourite.
Have you ever wanted to know more about how Black Pudding is produced for the modern day food market? As part of our introduction, we wanted to share what we are going to do over the coming weeks / months. Basically we will find out more about how Black Pudding is made (i) on a large scale and (ii) by the smaller independent producers. BlackPudding.Club is about everything Black Pudding related so we will work our way through the whole process from start to finish i.e. from the fields to the time it’s ready to prepare for your meal.
Raw Materials | Ingredients
In our introduction to Traditional Black Pudding, we told you about [some of] the basic ingredients used; onions, pork fat or beef suet, cereal (oatmeal or pearl barley), spices and pig’s blood. So why do we want to know more than that?
- The use of animal blood, the cause of most contention with Black Pudding, in food is heavily regulated. How it is utilised, how it is collected and processed, how it is preserved and does it meet with quality standards. There are regulations regarding the transportation of raw animal blood. So what impact does this have on the production of Black Pudding?
- Why is pork fat better than beef suet or vice versa? What makes the tastiest Black Pudding?
- Likewise, what is the taste / texture impact of the use of specific cereal types?
- What’s in the spice mix used in today’s traditional Black Pudding? I don’t think we will ever get a full answer to this one, but we can ask the question!
Discovery and Science Channel’s ‘How It’s Made – Black Pudding’ episode
Source: YouTube via Panos Egglezos | All copyrights belong to the respective owners under License: Standard YouTube License
Here we have an example of how Macsween’s Black Pudding is produced. As you can possibly tell, the video clip is unfortunately a few years old. The process may not have changed too much however we’d like to find out if this is the case and also if this is the industry norm? What impact is technology having on the production of Black Pudding and how do the smaller producer’s make their Black Pudding?
Distribution & Sales
We will cover this in more detail in our Suppliers section.
Meet the Producers
As a Black Pudding fan you are probably aware of the bigger named producers through the UK and Ireland. There are also a number of smaller independent ones. Well our task at hand for the coming weeks is to find out a little bit more about them all and share our findings with you through a series of feature articles.
We’re assuming, for the moment, most of us buy our Black Pudding from the Supermarket simply because of the convenience. As the popularity of Black Pudding increased, so did the amount stocked on the Supermarket shelves. We don’t know about you, choice of store and location may make a difference, but in recent years in our area there have been too many occasions when Black Pudding has been unavailable or out-of-stock! [Especially annoying if you’ve popped out on a Sunday morning for breakfast provisions]. The point being, we are often reliant on the Supermarkets as this is where we do most of our food shopping. Fortunately, unless it’s for an impromptu Sunday breakfast, we can guarantee our supply of Black Pudding through other means.
We won’t be sharing anything new by listing below the generic places to buy Black Pudding but in time we will hopefully have a list of specific places that you can consider for a ‘regular’ or ‘let’s try it’ order.
Certainly most of the larger producers have Black Pudding available on-line if you want to go direct to them. They will also supply specific Supermarket chains and we are in the process of compiling a full list of the options and offers available with each chain.
As mentioned above, the Supermarket is the most likely source for our Black Pudding supply. Dependent upon which chain you use, you may find yourself limited to a single brand. If that brand happens to be your favourite, great. If you buy Black Pudding, well, because it’s Black Pudding and the brand is unimportant, then great. But if you do have a favourite and it is not stocked by your regular Supermarket, then why settle for second best?
Butchers / Market Stall Butchers
It’s a shame, but perhaps we don’t use the high street butcher as often as we should. Obviously it doesn’t help there are not as many around anymore. The local butchers (often located in the market – especially up North) is often the best source of quality sausages, as they are own-made, as is for those who make their own Black Pudding. This is where we can, arguably, find the greater variety as each butcher will have their own unique recipe.
So, we’ll be on the look out for those local butchers and would love your help in locating and recommending them.
Farm Shops are another great source of ‘unique’ Black Puddings as they more than often sell produce directly from the Farm. So for those Pig or Cattle farms that earn their keep from ‘meat’, there are still a few who produce their own Black Pudding.
Again, we’ll be on the look out for Farm Shops and would love your help in locating and recommending them.
Delicatessen | Charcuterie
We’ve added these, more as a circumstance of being in France, but it’s worth remembering if you visit here. You can find a Charcuterie in most villages, or at least the main village of the commune, and these will always have a range of ‘Boudin Noir’. In the coming weeks we will certainly be sampling a few more of these, so we will let you know what we think and how they compare.
More and more of us do our shopping online these days, including our Supermarket food shop. Most of the options above are available on-line so if you do have a favourite Black Pudding, why not spend an extra five minutes on the PC and order the one you want?
The listing above, by way of an introduction, is an overview to the sources of Black Pudding. One thing we haven’t mentioned is price. What we can’t tell you at this point is how much it varies by source or if at all it does? But we will do some research for you. It may well be you could find your favourite Black Pudding cheaper from elsewhere – how would that interest you?
We all love to dine out, whether it’s for a special occasion or just a casual lunch with friends. Breakfast at the local cafe aside, Black Pudding was not often seen on menus in the past. Today, it’s very different. Black Pudding lends itself to imaginative dishes including fruit, seafood (scallops being especially popular) and goats cheese. So we thought it would be a good idea to showcase some of these dishes along with the dining establishments that serve them and offer you a guide for your next Black Pudding dining experience.
Restaurant & Pub Dishes
In our recipe section we have included restaurant quality dishes such as Pork Loin & Black Pudding Wellington with Cabbage & Bacon by Emily Watkins and Chicken & Black Pudding Terrine with Piccalilli & Toasted Hazelnuts by Matthew Tomkinson, two fantastic uses of Black Pudding for a dinner party. We won’t always be able to share the recipes but we will be able to share the ideas and for the more ambitious chefs among you hopefully they will inspire you to create your own version.
The use of Black Pudding in fine dining dishes is very much in vogue, and if you have not been lucky enough to sample them first hand in the restaurant(s), ‘how to prepare’ some of them are frequently shown on one of the many cooking shows on TV.
We want to focus on some of the restaurants that offer the more interesting Black Pudding dishes. Again this is one of the areas in which we would like your help. We’d like to know which restaurants you would suggest or recommend and the Black Pudding dish you tried. If you’d like to write a review, even better! [full credit attributed when we post on the site]
Pubs & Bars
The emergence of the ‘Gastro-Pub’ led to a much higher quality of food (and with it expectations) in our pubs around the country. Kitchens became a little more adventurous, a basic sausage & mash or scampi & chips was no longer the core menu item. As with the Restaurants above, Black Pudding dishes started making an appearance and are now regularly found on pub menus.
Cafes & Diners
Who cooks the best breakfast? We all have our favourite little cafe down the road, especially when living in a City, that does the most fantastic breakfast. So we’re interested in finding some of best and learn of their choice of Black Pudding for the breakfast plate. Why is it their pudding of choice, how do they cook it and how popular is it with their customers?
Chip Shops / Take-aways
Now we find this category quite interesting. We may be born & bred in Manchester, but bizarrely we have never tried Black Pudding from the chippy, Bury style, simply served with vinegar. But having eaten Bury Black Puddings for most of our life it is easy to understand why it is kept so simple. Popular in Scotland, is [beer] battered Black Pudding – we’ve tried this at home and you can’t go wrong with this and a big pile of chips! Scottish chippies also have a Red Pudding on offer, one more to add to our research list!
We’re going to be publishing reviews, suggestions and recommendations as to where you can find the best Black Pudding dishes. If you’d like to help us with this please get in touch.