Every morning since arriving in the UK, I’ve eaten an English breakfast. The full breakfast sometimes includes, among other things, a piece of black pudding. I’m not a very picky eater and I enjoy trying new dishes from time to time, so initially I didn’t think much of the dark little chunk of food looking nonchalant between the sausage and the mushrooms. “Tastes nutmeggy,” I told Arenda the first time I tried it. So this morning I decided to ask our bed and breakfast hosts what was in it, as up to that point I had figured it was something breadish, although curiously meaty.
“Blood,” said the man. “Blood, with bits of liver and kidney. It’s pretty much just the offal.”
“Hmm,” I said.
“You can get different sorts of black pudding,” he continued, “with some that leave out the mashed organs, but blood is the common denominator. It’s as though the people who came up with it didn’t feel like throwing out a bucket of perfectly good blood.”
I eventually negotiated a truce between my head and my stomach, but it took time and a nice drive to really settle things.
Snowdonia National Park, Wales: