Essentially a blood pudding, the ordinary folk of Scotland thrived on this healthy cheap food whilst those who could afford it would be eating the prime cuts of meat. Over the years it has become industrialised and although still popular it is not what it once was due to mass production and the use of the dried commodity, imported blood. Few originals remain. It is significantly different from English and other versions due to its proportion of blood, finely minced fat, oatmeal and spices. The English counterpart often has barley, bigger chunks of fat and produces an altogether different regional variety.
The key issue is the disappearance of small abattoirs across Scotland. The traditional method requires fresh blood from the animals at slaughter and this becomes a critical issue if the beasts have to be slaughtered some distance from the butcher/charcuterie/curer. The blood coagulates and transportation and feasibility becomes impractical. A generation ago this was a thriving industry with dozens of local abattoirs and no shortage of fresh blood. Now that is history.
Black pudding has a deep rich flavour with a texture of oatmeal/local grain running through.
Currently only two butchers have come forward who are still making the black pudding the traditional way to a high standard with fresh local ingredients. There may be one or two still to find but the numbers are very small. It seems to only be possible these days where the butcher owns the farm, controls when beasts go to slaughter and is nearby to collect the fresh blood once a week for the black puddings.
There are currently 2 butchers we know of …
John Lawson Butchers, West Lothian (see contact details & link)
& Tullochs of Paisley 0141 884 6321
photo: Wendy Barrie