The Sugarloaf Convivium was pleased to host an organoleptic assessment of traditional black and white puddings on the evening of Wednesday 14th April in the Buttery Café, Newtownmountkennedy.
The puddings had been prepared by Ed Hick, using traditional methods – fresh blood was used to make the black pudding, and the white pudding was prepared using both red and green offal. These traditional puddings were tasted alongside two shop-bought, factory-made brands, in order to compare and contrast. Apple juice and fresh apples were provided as palate cleansers and to complement the puddings.
Ed provided notes on his own assessment of the puddings, while explaining the methods used in preparing them. Meanwhile, the attendees were invited to examine the appearance, smell, taste and texture of the puds, and to take notes on their own organoleptic assessments. Our own experiences of food can be intensely personal and vary greatly from person to person, and consequently the tasting notes reveal a spectrum of results.
The texture of the traditional white pudding was universally described as soft, smooth, creamy and silky, but the analyses of its taste and smell varied from spicy, peppery and toasty, to meaty, fatty and “liverish,” right through to one person’s “slightly fruity!” Many tasters noted a deep, lingering, peppery finish on the tongue.
The black pudding was found to be coarser and more grainy than the white pudding (with several descriptions including crumbly, crunchy and chewy) with a distinctive metallic blood smell (although one taster did compare the smell to “shoes”!) The taste of the black was described as nutty, spicy and peppery, with several attendees also picking up a delicate chocolately flavour. As the tasters got into their strides, a deeper analysis was revealed, with one taster even noting a resemblance to chai tea.
The industrially-prepared, shop-bought puddings were tasted next, and although tasting notes were not taken on these there were some notable comments made, mainly regarding the marked difference in appearance when compared to Ed’s puddings. The shop-bought puds were a blander colour and a much more uniform texture, with less obvious ingredients. It was also observed that a much higher salt content could be tasted.
The evening was wrapped up nicely with each attendee receiving rings of Ed’s black and white puddings to bring home. Many thanks to Claire and the Buttery Café for hosting the event, and to Ed for his expertise (and delicious puddings!)