Random interjection here…

I Had This For My Tea

First of all, who thought this was a good idea? The Moors and Romans, apparently, and ancient Brits agreed.

Of all the British delicacies that have presented themselves to me during my time in England, this is one that I’ve never gotten the nerve to sample. I’ve tried a bite of haggis, and had my fill of bubble-and-squeak and scouse, but the black pudding bests me every time. 

It’s really the idea of the thing more than anything else. I’m sure someone will assure me, “But it tastes delicious!” This isn’t about taste, just as escargot and caviar aren’t really about taste. It’s the idea of where these things came from, what they signify, the meaning they embody. 

And it’s just gross.  

I’m not so hot on the idea of eating blood. I don’t think it’s up to the level of a moral interdiction, but  it’s pretty darn close. I can see why the ancients had reason to rely on such things (you had to eat everything you could get when starvation loomed ahead), but nowadays we have plenty of perfectly decent food to live on. Jacket potatoes, for instance. Clotted cream. Crispy fried chips with malt vinegar. Mars bars. I can eat a lot of food before I resort to blood sausage as a way to liven up the cuisine. 

And that’s all I have to say about black pudding. Or white pudding for that matter.

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Written by Abigail Young

I've had a passion for everything British my entire life, despite being raised as a small-town girl in the American Midwest, After years of dreaming, I got the chance to live and work in England for an entire year. Now I write about my favorite country, and hopefully inspire my fellow Britophiles to get over there and experience it for themselves.

This article has 3 comments

  1. Patricia Burke Reply

    Back in the day, I have consumed Black Pudding fried as part of the ‘full English Breakfast’, sometimes with a bacon sandwich and I have also eaten it cold, sliced straight out of the packaging. Although, It does not feature on my shopping list these days, as I made a conscious decision to move away from fried foods quite some years ago.

    ‘Gross’ may well be a natural and very apt response to this product by the many who have not tried it, but have knowledge of its potential stomach churning ingredients. Especially its major component, pigs blood. It’s a natural and understandable reaction!

    However, casting the net a little wider, the Food Industry in general do subscribe to the mantra: ‘waste not, want not’, especially to its financial gain. So we might be equally horrified, if we had informed, prior knowledge of the unsavoury parts of animals, which are ‘not going to waste’. With their inclusion within the ingredients in some of the regular and popular processed snacks and foods. Which are consumed with satisfaction, by an unconcerned public. I think the phrase to look out for listed in ingredients is: ‘mechanically reclaimed’ meat, which is not to be confused with the more palatable ‘reformed’ meat ( Google the differences )

    So back to Black Pudding, we know what’s in it and unless you have tried it with an open mind, you will never know if you like it or not, a bit like Marmite! Despite the unappealing photo illustration given above, surprisingly, some Black Puddings look more appetising than others and like supermarket hamburgers, there can be a difference in taste and quality, dependant on whose you buy and from where.

    So for those who have not tried ‘this delacacy’ but are willing to give it a go. I think the best option is to have some that has been shallow fried or maybe grilled, but not to the point of partial cremation. It’s not a unpleasant taste, obviously an acquired one, that may actually surprise you to the point of enjoying it! On the other hand, have a napkin or two ready to hand!


    Can I just tag onto this post some additional information. I tried to use your ‘Contact Me’ option with an e-mail yesterday. On posting, your site generated a message that my e-mail had been sent. However it has not registered as being a ‘Sent’ message on my GMail Account. I tried a second time, re-sending the e-mail some hours later, with exactly the same results. So I do not know if the ‘Contact Me’ aspect of your site is working as it should.

    The e-mail referred to an App which my son made me aware of yesterday. Which, I would have loved to have passed it on to you a year ago, had I known about it then. But even now, you and the friends that you will be leaving behind, can still make use of it if you wish. On the assumption that you are not already aware of it.

    This is a FREE app for iPhone, Android Smartphones and of course computers. If your laptop is Windows 8 there is probably an Windows App for it, which will effectively turn it into a TV while you are still here and maybe in Europe.

    So if you download it as a Free app to your laptop where it will have even greater use turning it into a TV. You might also find that you can use it in America, through a VPN (Virtual Private Network) which overrides TV Region Restrictions.

    The free App is: tvplayer website http://tvplayer.com/

    This app allows access for up to 40 British TV Channels. Specifically the major ones: BBC, ITV, Channel 4 Channel 5 and various Freeview options

    It shows LIVE television station output in ‘Real Time’ just as if you were watching Television here and there is no charges for viewing, it is FREE

    I am only sorry I could not tell you about earlier, as I said.

    Although there are others to choose from http://www.radiotimes.com/ with give you full TV listings for 7 days, together with BBC Radio listing which could be useful.

  2. Patricia Burke Reply

    As A Continuation to the above:

    You already use BBC iPlayer, but there is also one specifically dedicated to BBC Radio, BBCRadio iPlayer
    ( BBC Radio: 4 has very diverse content, New Current Affairs, Woman’s Hour, radio plays and comedies. One that you like, ‘Whose Line is it Anyway’ actually started on Radion 4 and is available to hear on this iplayler On Demand on Radio 4 Extra, along with lots of other things. )

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/radio/ This will probably work OK in the States

    A VPN allows you to give yourself a virtual IP Address. You can be in Arkansas, but your laptop can be made to indicate you are in Lancashire for example, probably by typing in a Postcode that you are familiar with. Making British TV available to you, if you wanted to have that option when you are home. If you Google VPN there will be plenty of sites giving you details.

    You can also get a portable VPN USB Drive From Amazon, QVC etc. See YouTube

    This is sold on Amazon.Com so you could read the reviews, there are also some QVC videos on You Tube. I saw this demonstrated on QVC UK and the demonstrator made a point of saying he was watching iPlayer, when he was on holiday in the States and American TV when in the UK.

    I am not plugging this as good product, merely point out that it’s a portable VPN that can be used on any computer, anywhere.

    With VPN in mind, for when you return to the States. If you are using Windows 8 and linked by your present location to the UK Widows Apps, if have not done so already, you could download the Windowas Apps for the other On Demand stations while you are here, as no doubt they will not feature on the US Windows Apps when you return. Normal Websites Below:

    http://www.itv.com/itvplayer/ ( Downton Abbey Starts 21st September on ITV )

    I hope I have provided you with some useful information, rather than telling you things at you already know. Have a wonderful time on holiday with your brother and and ultimately, a safe journey Home.

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