There'll be blood on the streets of Lancashire this Sunday, albeit cooked and sausage-shaped, when the World Black Pudding Throwing Championship takes place.
There'll be blood on the streets of Lancashire this Sunday, albeit cooked and sausage-shaped, when the World Black Pudding Throwing Championship takes place. This 150-year-old competition symbolises ancient rivalry between Lancashire and Yorkshire. Legend has it that during the Wars of the Roses, both counties' armies ran out of ammunition and threw food rations at each other instead.
The conflict is re-enacted by competitors aiming to knock a row of Yorkshire puds off a high platform with three throws of a black pudding. This year's fixture is at the Royal Oak pub in Ramsbottom, near Bury.
But its popularity isn't limited to Lancs: black pudding (boiled pigs' blood, fat and rusk), is made in Yorkshire, Ireland, and Scotland, too. In France it's boudin noir; in Spain, morcilla.
WHERE TO BUY
R S Ireland (The Real Lancashire Black Pudding Co)
The proprietor Andrew Holt's multi-award-winner is made to a 19th-century Lancashire recipe. It's nicely crumbly; pearl barley enhances the rich, herby flavour. (£5.25 per kg, by mail order from Jack Scaife, 01535 647772; www.jackscaife.co.uk)
Petit boudin aux pommes et calvados, Dordogne Direct
This delicious French pudding contains apples and calvados. Oven-bake it in its tin, then slice and serve with caramelised apples - très rustique. (180g, £3.45; 01285 750607; www.dddirect.co.uk)
Charles Macleod, Stornoway
A giant, 36cm long, handmade on the Isle of Lewis. Dense and crumbly with a lovely dark, oaty taste. Slice it thickly. (1.4kg, £6 plus p&p, from Charles Macleod, Stornoway, 01851 702445; www.charlesmacleod.co.uk)
A smooth, dense texture and large chunks of fat. Pleasantly peppery, in cooking it crisps up nicely. Good value. (35p per 100g; 0800 188 884; www.waitrose.com)
This all-natural Irish pud has pinhead oatmeal and onion that complement the sweetness of the meat. Great texture, too. (420g, £4.35, from Fortnum & Mason, 181 Piccadilly, London W1; 020-7734 8040; www.fortnumandmason.com)Reuse content