National Black Pudding Day: Scottish Craft Butchers organises first annual celebration, and I want some in a roll - Gaby Soutar

This event aims to raise the profile of this product
Black puddingBlack pudding
Black pudding

I suggest that you ditch the Frosties and schedule a full Scottish breakfast.

It’s obligatory, as March 18 is the inaugural National Black Pudding Day, which has been organised by Scottish Craft Butchers.

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If you have neglected one of the most ancient types of sausage, this could be the time to rediscover it.

Indeed, the power of suggestion is such that as soon as I heard about the celebration, I started craving a slice with a fried egg on top in a fluffy white roll. Make that two of those. I also Googled recipes, and there are appealing ones for black pudding hash, and black pudding Scotch egg.

It’s been a while since I’ve seen it on a restaurant menu, where it usually appears alongside its other natural partner of scallops.

These days, you’re more likely to see ‘nduja.

Still, black pudding is something that I love, for its earthy flavour, though we don’t often have it in my household, as my other half is a staunch white pudding fan. He prefers the suet to the blood. For me, it’s haemoglobin all the way.

I have never experienced its other sister product, the fruit pudding. The idea doesn’t appeal, though I am willing to be converted.

Despite being a fan of black pud, I tend to forget it exists, so perhaps this event will prompt me to have it annually, in the same way as I obediently nosh my haggis on Burns Night.

Although it’s considered a Scottish treat, some say it most likely originated in Yorkshire, and other parts of England and Ireland have laid claim to it too. Origins aside, I know it falls into the same category as coriander and Marmite, in that it makes some people squeamish. Indeed, it’s maybe best not to dwell on the ingredients, which are pork or beef blood, suet and cereal, though in F. Marian McNeill’s classic book The Scots Kitchen, she also includes recipes for goose blood and lamb’s blood versions.

I’ve always considered Stornoway Black Pudding, which, like Champagne or Cornish pasties, has a Protected Geographical Indicator status, to be the best, but I haven’t tried produce from the current Black Pudding Champion, Nigel Ovens of McCaskie’s Butchers and Cafe in Wemyss Bay.

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He’ll no doubt be aiming for a repeat win of this year’s Black Pudding Champion at the Scottish Craft Butchers Awards 2024 on May 2.

When that date comes round, it’ll be another excuse to have one of my rolls.



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