Vegetarian black pudding. Now there’s an oxymoron. Why would a person who prides themselves on eating only vegetables be interested in buying something specifically created to impersonate meat?
It’s a bit like the mysteries of vegetarian haggis or those flat things described as fillets that lurk in the veggie section of frozen food cabinets and look (plus often taste) like insoles for trainers.
Black puddings were borne from a culture of butchery and offal which is present across Europe in the blood sausage and so would appear to me to be the culinary equivalent of the anti-Christ to any serious meat-free fan.
But regardless of that mystery of the veggie mindset, I was intrigued to see the world’s first V Pudding on sale in Manchester city centre’s markets and just had to give it a try.
My inquiry about what went into this bloodless sausage was met with a detailed response delivered by a woman who had obviously been asked the same question at least ten times that day. Patiently she explained that even the most blood-thirsty pudding has heaps of ingredients which are already suitable for vegetarians – herbs, spices, oats etc. and so it was just the blood and the fat that had been replaced with vegetable oil.
After a quick taste on the stall I parted with my £2 and came up with my own recipe for it which you can try here.
For the record the V Pud tastes mainly of herbs, it’s slightly spicy and has a dense, moist texture. It’s a pleasant flavour and, although it didn’t fool my black pudding eating husband into thinking it was the “real thing”, he found it an enjoyable treat which could as easily be supper as breakfast.
In fact I think it’s a product that deserves being named as a Veggie Hero even though it’s slightly outside my normal rules.
The staff at the Real Lancashire Black Pudding stall also told me that since its launch last year, the V Pud has become their single biggest seller – just shows what I know about the vegetarian psyche!
Go on, tell me your thoughts about vegetarian meat-style products. I’d love to know.