Monday, 29 April 2013

Black Puddings & the Food Program

YESTERDAY Radio Four's Food Program broadcast Charles Campion's report from Normandy in France on the World Black Pudding Championships, which featured not only the classic Lancashire black pudding and the french bodin noir, but also entries from Japan, Austria and Ireland.  This year close on six hundred butchers from all over the world competed and celebrated this ancient dish which most of the great food cultures have created over the centuries in some form of blood sausage.

The program reported that though this dish has been made in this country since the arrival of the Romans, in many areas of Britian it has fallen out of favour.  In Bury, and Lancashire it still holds its own however, and every week Bury market is flooded with folk from other parts in search of the famous traditional Bury Black Pudding. 

It seems that the French version Boudin Noir is softer with a thinner skin and more like a Pâté in texture, while the typical Lancashire black pudding has lumps of fat in it and a thicker skin.  The advice given was that many English people tend to cook the pudding to death, and that it should take long to cook.  Up here in Lancashire it is recommended that we boil them for a brief period. On the program it was suggested that it could be combined with tomato ketchup or even piccalilli.

My view is that the best way I have found is the one suggested by Elizabeth David in her book French Provincial Cooking for grilled black pudding with apples:
'Boudin, black pudding, or blood pudding which, in France, is nearly always heavily flavoured with onion and much less insipid than the kind found in Engalnd, is cut into lengths of about 5 inches, painted with olive oil or pork fat and grilled about 5 minutes on each side.  Serve it on a bed of peeled, cored and sliced sweet apples, six to a pound of sausage, gentlly fried in pork fat.'

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