Black pudding is one of those dishes that is either loathed or loved. This type of sausage is made by combing pork blood or blood dried with a filler (typically meat, fat, suet, bread, onion or oatmeal) until it is thick enough to congeal when cooked.
The Clonakilty Black Pudding logo
Clonakility is a black pudding that I first spotted at the Taste of London festival 2011. This is a black pudding that originates from the town of the same name in County Cork, Ireland and one that the Twomey family have made to their own secret recipe since the 1880s.
Each week the Twomeys create their mix and the result is a taste that combines oatmeal, onions, beef fat, water, dried blood and natural spices. On their website, they suggest that their black pudding works as well in recipes as it does as part of a breakfast offering. Suggestions include seared scallops with black pudding and a cauliflower puree and even a bacon, black pudding and goats cheese pizza.
White pudding was added to the Clonakilty range in 1986 and has a slightly more spicy taste. Made with oatmeal, onions, pork, pork fat, water, salt and natural spices, it is naturally lighter in colour. As it does not include blood, it might be a dish that could have wider appeal to those who find that the thought of black pudding makes them queasy.
Colette Twomey with her Clonakilty range
The growth of Clonakilty to Ireland’s leading pudding brand has accelerated rapidly since 2005. Following the death of her husband that year, Colette Twomey took over the company and has transformed the operation from a cottage industry to a €12m business producing 20 tonnes of pudding and 35 tonnes of sausages each week. Twomey’s efforts have resulted in her being the recipient of the 2011 Veuve Clicquot Business Woman of the Year Award and large-scale distribution for Clonakilty is also on the horizon.
Clonakilty is most definitely a brand to watch and one to try – once you’re over your inhibitions, you might just find you like it.
Purchase Clonakilty from Jack O’Shea’s, Selfridges & Co. and Fortnum & Mason. Buy online at http://www.youririshshop.com
Follow Clonakilty on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/ClonakiltyBlackpudding
For more information and recipes see http://www.clonakiltyblackpudding.ie