Blood . . . ick . . . pudding?

My son heard the term blood pudding recently, and wanted to know what was up with . . . ick . . . that.

Blood pudding, also known as black pudding, is actually a type of sausage popular (but not exclusive) to the British Isles. There are different varieties, but in Scotland it often consists of pork’s blood mixed with oats and onions.

So why would anyone want to eat congealed blood in a sausage casing?

Let’s think about this. The history of blood pudding is believed to date back as far as the Roman civilization, and was possibly brought into Britain during the Roman occupation. It was food for both the rich and the poor, and Henry VIII was known to supply his guests with black pudding at his banquets.

Turn back the calendar a hundred years. We didn’t have refrigerators or grocery stores. When you slaughtered an animal you used every bit of the animal that you could, including its blood. It was a matter of survival.

It’s still eaten today in Britain and much of Europe, having become a standing part of the culture.  I’ve never eaten it myself, but I think I would be willing to try. It’s possible I wouldn’t be here today if blood pudding hadn’t helped to sustain my ancestors through tough times.

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