Black pudding... readers here in the US (I have readers?) will probably be envisioning a dark chocolate mousse and how horribly wrong they would be. Also called blood sausage, black pudding is congealed blood mixed with some fillers (which can include meat, fat, suet, bread, sweet potato, barley or oatmeal) that is cooked and made into a sausage. It's a traditional breakfast food item in England, Scotland, and Ireland with many other countries around the world having their own variation on the theme.
So, a rather disturbing little dish but I'm a full supporter of the idea that if you're going to slaughter a beast then you should at least give it the honor of using all of its bits for something.
I can't admit to being too disgusted at the thought of eating this little morsel I purchased from the supermarket close to where I was staying in Leeds. I've always been quite fond of picking at the charred blood after cooking a steak and was heartily looking forward to the experience.
The texture is a bit pasty, as one might expect from congealed blood, and interspersed with solid bits that looked somewhat like potato but could very well have been chunks of eyeball, either way would suit me. Being high in iron, the taste is slightly metallic and a bit meaty but altogether rather different than a typical sausage. I would liken it to a liver paste. It's often fried up with the traditional English breakfast but I had mine cold and straight from the deli in order to fully appreciate the flavor.
Not nearly enough protein for me to make it a regular meal item but I'd definitely prefer it over traditional American breakfast items.