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Black and the meatless White puddings were the correct meaning of the word - "pudding" - before it became diluted by desserts etc. The derivation coming from the Norman-English word "pudingis", which only referred to a boiled sausage.
This is generally made with pig's blood in England and sheep's blood in
Scotland and some parts of Ireland. Irish blood pudding is generally padded out with barley, which might not suit all tastes.
Black pudding was certainly made in Britain during Roman times, and possibly introduced by them. Roman puddings were called botelli, and were stuffed with chopped boiled egg yolks, pine kernels, onions, leeks and pepper - as well as the necessary blood.
These puddings were extremely popular in medieval times, when they were a delicacy on feast days. If pig's blood wasn't available, recipes have been found to show that porpoise blood was used in the same manner. Indeed the pudding of porpoise was a dish for the nobility. For a recipe see our Recipe Section.