Black pudding isn’t just for breakfast, when it’s this good it can be the star of so many dishes.

I’ve always loved black pudding but it seems the the nation does not. My local big supermarket no longer sells it loose from the deli counter, instead I have to get it packaged off the shelves. Demand is not high enough, apparently.

If that’s so then the nation is missing out. The French have their boudin noir, the Spanish their Morcilla, and very delicious they are too, but in the UK and Ireland we have our own traditional black sausages and they should really be celebrated.

Move just a few miles across country and the local black pudding will be different; firmer or looser with more or less fat and different seasonings. It’s an artisan product that doesn’t get the recognition it deserves.

Clonakilty Black Pudding is different again. I’m assuming that if you’re reading this you aren’t vegetarian, aren’t squeamish and know that black pudding is made of pig’s blood. Well, the Clonakilty is made of ox blood.

Yes ox blood, it made me stop for a moment too. It’s a secret recipe apparently, first used in the 1880’s. Well actually, the ingredients aren’t secret – beef fat, oatmeal, onions, beef blood – but the blend of spices is.

It doesn’t have the larger white lumps of fat the pig blood puddings tend to have in the UK, the reason why our black puddings don’t fall apart when fried. It does need a delicate touch as result though, it has to be sliced thickly for frying, thicker than you might normally choose.

We tried the small pack – Clonakilty Black pudding Chubb  at 280g. The right size for two people, perhaps a bit more.

First we had it as an ingredient. Toasted buckwheat was cooked, tossed with feta cheese cubes, roasted beetroot, grilled broccoli and dressed with a dash of vinegar and some pomegranate molasses.  The fried slices of the pudding laid on top. Vegan meets carnivore basically.

The pudding was just starting to fall apart from the cooking, which helped it mix in with each forkful.  The spices well to the fore and the pinhead oatmeal giving a nice granularity and crunch. A far different taste and texture experience to the more usual UK black pudding.

We had it sliced and grilled for Sunday breakfast too and it was far more enjoyable than our usual choice and less heavy. For once I felt I could do some work after breakfast rather than go for a lie down.

All in all, it’s a really excellent BP from a producer with a charming back story, a well-run people centric production process and a genuine desire to deliver a quality product.

The Clonakilty website has loads of fine recipes for using the BP in loads of interesting and unusual ways, such as Rigatoni with Clonakilty Black pudding, olives, fresh tomatoes and peppers and Clonakilty Black pudding stuffed chicken breast.

You can buy Clonakilty Black pudding in most major supermarkets at around £2.10 for the small single packs.

Photos taken from Clonakilty website