What is Black Pudding?

What is Black Pudding?


An overview and everything you ever wanted to know about black pudding, its ingredients, how black pudding is made and its traditional home:

“What is Black Pudding?” If you’ve ever been intrigued by the mysterious dark sausage that graces breakfast plates or the menus of gastropubs, you’re in the right place. Black pudding, also known as blood sausage, is a culinary delicacy with a rich history and a unique flavour profile. Black pudding is commonly found in European cuisines, particularly in the United Kingdom, Ireland, and some other countries.

Loved by many and sometimes met with curiosity by others, black pudding is an ingredient that sparks conversation and captures the imagination. In this article, we’ll delve into the origins, ingredients, and cultural significance of black pudding, unravelling the secrets behind this fascinating culinary creation. Whether you’re a long-time fan or a newcomer to the world of black pudding, join us on this flavorful journey to discover what makes this traditional sausage so beloved.

Black Pudding Ingredients

The main ingredient in black pudding is animal blood, traditionally sourced from pigs, although variations using beef, lamb, or other animals’ blood exist. Other common ingredients include fat (often from the same animal), oatmeal or barley groats (to provide texture), onions, spices, and seasonings.

The specific ingredients can vary slightly depending on regional variations and personal preferences, but here are the common ingredients used in making black pudding:

  1. Blood: The primary ingredient of black pudding is typically fresh pig’s blood. It gives the sausage its distinct dark colour and contributes to its rich, savoury flavour.
  2. Fat: A proportion of pork fat or suet is added to the sausage mixture to provide moisture, texture, and richness. The fat helps to bind the ingredients together during cooking.
  3. Grain or Filler: Black pudding often contains a combination of grains or fillers that add bulk and texture. Common fillers include cooked barley, oats, rice, or breadcrumbs. These ingredients contribute to the unique consistency of black pudding.
  4. Onions: Finely chopped onions are a traditional ingredient in black pudding, adding flavour and a subtle sweetness to the sausage.
  5. Seasonings: Various seasonings are added to enhance the taste of black pudding. Common seasonings include salt, pepper, nutmeg, allspice, and herbs like thyme or sage. These seasonings contribute to the savoury and aromatic profile of the sausage.
  6. Casings: Black pudding is traditionally stuffed into natural casings, such as pig intestine or synthetic casings, to give it its characteristic shape.

It’s important to note that the specific recipe and proportions of ingredients can vary based on regional traditions and individual preferences. Some variations may include additional spices or herbs, such as coriander, cloves, or cinnamon, to further enhance the flavour. Additionally, different cultures may have their own unique versions of blood sausage, incorporating local ingredients and seasonings.

How to Make Black Pudding

Mixing: The process begins by combining the animal blood with the fat, usually in a large mixing bowl. The ingredients are thoroughly mixed to create a homogenous mixture.

Addition of Fillers and Seasonings: Once the blood and fat are mixed, oatmeal or barley groats are added to the mixture. These serve as fillers and contribute to the texture of the final product. Finely chopped or sautéed onions, as well as a blend of spices and seasonings such as salt, pepper, nutmeg, allspice, and herbs, are added to enhance the flavour.

Stuffing: The prepared mixture is then stuffed into natural casings, traditionally made from cleaned and processed animal intestines. The casings are tied off at regular intervals to create individual sausages of the desired length.

Cooking: The stuffed casings are typically cooked by either boiling, steaming, or baking. The cooking method may vary depending on regional preferences and individual recipes.

Cooling and Storage: Once cooked, the black pudding sausages are cooled and then stored. They can be consumed immediately or refrigerated for later use. Black pudding is often served sliced and can be enjoyed both cold or fried until heated through.

Bury – The Home of Black Pudding

Bury, a town located in Greater Manchester, England, proudly holds the title of “The Home of Black Pudding.” This accolade is well-deserved as Bury has a longstanding history and reputation for producing exceptional black pudding.

Bury has been a hub of culinary excellence and food heritage for centuries. The town’s association with black pudding can be traced back to the 19th century when it emerged as a centre for the production and trade of this iconic sausage.

The town’s dedication to producing exceptional black pudding is evident in the local businesses that specialise in its creation. Bury boasts several award-winning butchers and delicatessens that handcraft black pudding using time-honored techniques and carefully selected ingredients. The skilled artisans in these establishments take pride in upholding the town’s culinary heritage and ensuring that each black pudding produced reflects the highest standards of quality and flavour.

The World Black Pudding Throwing Championships
The World Black Pudding Throwing Championships

The reputation of Bury’s black pudding has spread far beyond the town’s borders. It has become a cherished delicacy enjoyed not only in the local community but also by food enthusiasts across the country and even internationally. Visitors to Bury often seek out the renowned black pudding, either to savour it as part of a traditional English breakfast or to take home as a delicious souvenir.

Bury’s love affair with black pudding is celebrated each year in the town with The World Black Pudding Throwing Championships, a quirky event that attracts both locals and visitors. The competition involves participants throwing black puddings at a stack of Yorkshire puddings on a raised plinth, aiming to knock down as many as possible. This lighthearted event showcases the town’s deep-rooted connection to this beloved culinary delight.

So, when you visit Bury, be sure to indulge in the flavours of this historic town and taste the exceptional black pudding that has made it famous. Experience the rich heritage and culinary tradition that has earned Bury the well-deserved title of “The Home of Black Pudding.”


The specific recipes and variations of black pudding can differ across different regions and cultures. The combination of ingredients and spices can vary, resulting in unique flavours and textures. Black pudding is renowned for its rich, earthy taste and can be enjoyed as part of a Full English breakfast or as an ingredient in other types of breakfasts and various dishes and recipes.