Black Pudding has been around since humans have farmed and kept livestock. The earlier forms of this culinary delight, went by many names and traveled the globe.
Some believe this dish travelled with the Romans as they conquered different lands and people, other believe that it traveled within the general population.
‘Another popular theory holds that it was the Moors of North Africa who followed the Romans into many parts of Europe and introduced them to the delights of the blood dish, the ingredients of which were so readily available to them. Some even think that the Spanish word for black pudding (morcilla) and the French town which hosts the international black pudding festival (Mortagne) are among those that derive their names from the Moors.’
The dish has become very popular in France where it is know as Boudin Noir. Early version of the ‘Blood Sausage can be traced to cave paintings at Narbone, Bordeaux and Rheims where blood sausages are clearly identifiable. In France there is a very special organisation named Chevaliers du Goute-Boudin, the ‘ Knights of the Black Pudding’. These Knights promise to uphold the traditions of making black pudding and promise to eat black pudding everyday.
‘The first known written mention of black pudding was as early as 800 BC when it appeared in Homer’s classic The Odyssey. In book twenty of his great canon, Homer 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…”.’
As it has travelled around the world, the ingredients of the Black Pudding has changed as the availbilty of different ingredients did. This dish was favoured by those with very little money as it could be made in a variety of ways and had a very high nutritional value. Therefore people would use which ingredients were cheapest and readily available. So in Britain they added oatmeal or pearl barley to bulk up the dish, in Spain they would use rice. As trade evolved more spices could be added and the dish changed again.
Black Pudding has changed with the times, an adaptable, made many different ways by different companies. It has gone from a traveling culinairy delight to a staple food providing sustenece to those who needed it most. Now you can find Black Pudding in all areas from the Butchers shop, Market Stall to the very best restaurants and making appearences with chefs such as Rick Stein, Simon Rimmer, Heston Blumenthal.
There are many competitions held all over Europe to find the ‘Best Black Pudding’, where Black Puddings submitted are tasted and ranked by Judges. The Real Lancashire Black Pudding Company rememebers the History of this great dish and sticks to a very traditional recipe from 1879, Winning over 200 awards all over Europe and holding the title of Undisputed British Champion and Best Black Pudding in Britain.
To see more about Black Pudding History visit http://www.blackpudding.org/history/