White Pudding and Black Pudding

What comes to your mind when you hear the word pudding? Did you know different food varieties are referred to as puddings depending on where they originated?

If you didn't know this, buckle up and let's explore a bit about puddings.

In this article, we will discuss white pudding and black pudding, a favorite dish for many in England.

Though most recipes share the same ingredients, the difference between white pudding and black pudding is in the color, taste and flavor when cooked.

What is pudding?

The general description of a pudding is a soft, thick and spongy food item served as a dessert or a meal on its own.

In America, puddings are normally sweet desserts made from milk and juice recipes and thickened with cornstarch or other flours, bread or eggs.

In Europe, pudding recipes vary to include the sweet dessert offerings of modern days and the traditional savory oatmeal and meat recipes.

The traditional English pudding is a sausage dish commonly made in Scotland, Ireland, parts of the UK and Canada.

What is white pudding?

White Pudding on a plate

White pudding is a traditional English savory dish made using oatmeal or barley, animal fat or suet, spices and meat.

These ingredients are then mixed with bread crumbs and stuffed into a sausage casing. You can boil them to cook, then deep fry or grill them before serving.

Though this pudding is not white in color, it is referred to as such because of its light brown, almost beige color that differentiates it from other traditional savory puddings.

You can make white pudding with pork or beef protein and fat, depending on your meat preference. 

White pudding has an invitingly smooth texture and deep flavor due to its high meat content and hot spices. You can serve it as a dessert or as a traditional sausage snack.

What is black pudding?

Like the white pudding, black pudding is also a traditional savory dessert originating from England.

Black pudding shares all the ingredient variations of the white pudding, with the addition of blood to the recipe.

Adding pig or cow blood to the pudding distinguishes black pudding from white pudding in color and flavor.

The blood gives black pudding its distinctive dark brown to red color, giving it the "black pudding" name.

Besides the bold, dark color, the pig or cow blood in black pudding gives it a distinctive, earthy taste and smell.

Black pudding also has a slightly crumbled texture than white pudding as the blood tends to crumble when cooking.

What are the origins of white pudding and black pudding?

Scottish man with a pipe

As mentioned earlier in this article, both white pudding and black pudding have their roots of origin in England and Great Britain.

The first piece of literature to mention black pudding ever was published in 800 BC. White pudding is believed to have its roots in Scotland.

Both white pudding and black pudding were invented as an alternative way of consuming animals' entrails or internal organs instead of throwing them away.

These organs include the liver, kidneys, spleen, intestines and others.

What are the common recipe varieties of white and black pudding?

There are different variations in the ingredients used to make white and black pudding, depending on different countries and cultural backgrounds.

  • Scottish white pudding contains no meat and is a combination of lard, oatmeal, spices and onions.

  • Irish white pudding: may contain potato flour and has meat, animal fat, oatmeal, spices and onions for taste.

  • English white and black pudding: It contains meat and high quantities of animal fat and is highly spiced compared to other regional recipes.

  • Canadian white pudding: This contains less fat and less meat than other traditional white and black pudding recipes.

Where can I buy white pudding or black pudding?

Due to the modern advancements in technology, white pudding and black pudding have become quite popular and a must-have breakfast dessert option for many worldwide.

You can easily get different white pudding and black pudding varieties in local food stores.

If you are a DIY enthusiast, you can also get yourself some sausage casings and make your white pudding or black pudding from the comfort and abundance of your home or restaurant.

How can I make white pudding at home?

homemade white pudding

If you want to make an unforgettable mouth-watering white pudding dish, then you will want to invest in a lot of lard or animal fat.

Most recipes favor pork fat, but you can also use cow fat or any animal fat of your choice.

Freeze the animal fat, grind it in a blender, then mix it with ground pork or beef meat, cornstarch, all-purpose flour, oatmeal, breadcrumbs, ground leeks, and salt and spices like coriander and white pepper.

Once all the ingredients are evenly mixed, stuff them into your sausage casings and tie the ends to avoid spilling.

Next, poach or boil the stuffed white pudding sausages in hot water for 35 to 40 minutes, or until they become firm to touch.

How can I make black pudding at home?

The best time to make black pudding is after you have slaughtered a pig or cow and preserved the blood for making.

If you don't have fresh animal blood at hand, you can purchase dried and preserved blood from your local slaughterhouse or a butchery near you.

Like the white pudding recipe, you will also need frozen lard, ground pork or beef meat, grounded leeks, oatmeal or all-purpose flour and breadcrumbs, coriander, black pepper and salt for seasoning.

Mix the dry blood with water to dilute, then strain it to remove any lump. Cube the frozen lard and mix it with the blood and other ingredients.

Stuff the mixture into sausage casings. Cook the sausages in simmering water until they are firm to touch.

What can I serve white or black pudding with?

black pudding on a plate

Once you have finished the preliminary cooking of your white or black pudding, you can serve it as is, grill or deep fry it for 6-8 minutes for a more savory palate.

Grilled or deep-fried white or black pudding also gives better aesthetics than boiled.

You can cut your white or black pudding into a disc shape and serve it as a side dish, a dessert, or on its own as a complete meal.

You can opt to serve it alongside meat, baked beans and salad dishes during breakfast, dinner or any time of day.

How can I store leftover white or black pudding?

If you have leftover white or black pudding, you will need to refrigerate or freeze it as soon as possible so that it does not start to spoil and attract harmful bacteria.

If you have made your white or black pudding at home, wait for it to cool down before freezing or refrigerating it.

If you bought or had your white or black pudding from a store or factory, check the "use by" date and confirm that the casing is not torn. Then, refrigerate or freeze the pudding until you are ready to use it.

How long does unopened black or white pudding last in storage?

Homemade white or black pudding can go up to a week while well-sealed and stored in the refrigerator. 

While frozen, well-sealed homemade white or black pudding can last up to a month without going bad.

Store or factory-bought white or black pudding can last up to the indicated use-by date in the refrigerator as long it is not opened.

When frozen, store-bought white or black pudding can last up to 9 months when unopened.

How long does opened white or black pudding last in storage?

making of black pudding

Once you have opened or broken the skin of your store or factory-bought white or black pudding, you can refrigerate it and ensure to consume it within a week of opening.

If you wish to freeze your it open, slice it up, then seal it in airtight packaging, then consume it one month from the day of the first opening.

What happens if I consume an out-of-date white or black pudding?

It is not advisable to eat an out-of-date or expired white or black pudding.

The ingredients used in making the pudding may have started to ferment due to blood, milk or water in the pudding.

Foods containing any amount of liquid are more likely to ferment and spoil faster than dry foods.

For example, spoilt white or black pudding can turn poisonous after expiry and make you sick upon consuming it.

How can I tell when my white or black pudding has gone bad?

Expired white or black pudding will show the following signs when it starts going bad or rotting away: 

  • Pockets of water on the inside of the casing as the blood or liquid in the pudding start to separate from the other ingredient.

  • Sharp acrid smell.

  • Bitter or flat taste.

  • Dark mold or white bacterial marks on the surface of the pudding.

What are the nutritional values and health benefits of white pudding?

A slice of traditional white pudding contains the following approximated values, depending on the manufacturer:

  • Calcium - 45%

  • Protein - 0.7g

  • Fat - 3.1g

  • Carbohydrates - 3.6g

White pudding contains a substantial amount of iron and calcium, which are essential for the formation of hemoglobin in the blood and for strengthening bones. It also has low sodium levels and is free from saturated sugars and fats, which can be harmful to your health.