What do foreigners think of when they hear the name "England"? William Shakespeare, Queen Elizabeth II, The Beatles, Big Ben, Tower Bridge, Hull City A.F.C., Charles Dickens, Mary Poppins, Winston Churchill. Morris dancers and Cornish cream teas perhaps? But I wonder how many think of the humble black pudding? Yes, my friend, black pudding.
What is a black pudding? Sausage-like in appearance, it is generally made from pork fat or beef suet, pig's blood and a relatively high proportion of oatmeal. In some recipes it may be mixed with grits (oat groats) and occasionally even barley groats. As it happens, the world's epicentre for the manufacture of black puddings is Bury in Lancashire.
Naturally, when I was over there on Saturday, I made a point of visiting Chadwick's Black Pudding Stall in Bury Market. This little food company produces and sells nothing else but black puddings. Like the two customers in front of me I asked for a "lean one" which cost me £1.08.
Yesterday lunchtime, I ate half of it with some bacon, a fried egg, a grilled tomato and a slice of bread and butter. The black pudding was delicious - rich and nicely seasoned. I grilled my black pudding slices along with the bacon and the tomato. A lovely treat to mark the beginning of February and for your interest photographs were taken to capture this delightful culinary experience...