Blood pudding is not a pudding at all, but a blood sausage, that is made by combining blood with meat, potatoes, bread, and onions and then put into casings. The blood of many different animals may be used, including goats, pigs, cows, and even ducks. Before cooking, the blood is seasoned with salt, herbs, and spices and countless other ingredients, depending on the country in which it is made.
It is difficult for those who do not live on or near a farm to find a sufficient amount of fresh animal blood to make this sausage. In some ethnic communities, however, it may be sold in local butcher shops. The seasoned blood is stirred constantly while adding the different fillers to keep it from forming lumps and sticking to the pan. It is then stuffed into casings, which are usually made from animal intestines. After it is put into casings, the blood pudding is boiled until fully cooked and then promptly refrigerated. It can be served cold or reheated before it is eaten.
This pudding is very popular in Ireland, and is often called Irish sausage. It is made with oatmeal and is said to have a very bland, grainy taste. The Irish fry the sausage and eat it for breakfast in place of bacon.
Blood pudding is very popular in Europe and Australia, where it is often called British sausage, black sausage, or black pudding. In Europe, it is often eaten with lingonberry jam. It is usually made with oatmeal or onions in these countries. In France and Scandinavia, it is served cold and eaten with apples and raisins or mashed potatoes, and sometimes covered with syrup and brown sugar. It is frequently eaten as a breakfast sausage.
In Spain and Portugal, blood pudding is made with rice, breadcrumbs and pignoli nuts. Occasionally, it is sweetened, fried and served as a dessert. Other countries, such as Iceland, have unique methods of preparing and eating this sausage. Their blood pudding is made from lamb’s blood, suet, and rye and is sewed into pouches made from the stomach of the lamb. After cooking, it is preserved in sour whey that has been fermented.
No matter where it is prepared, blood pudding is said to have a very mild, creamy taste and texture. Despite its name, it is not red in color because the blood turns brown when it is cooked. Unlike other types of sausage, it does not store well, and should always be refrigerated. It should only be kept for a few weeks and is best when eaten shortly after it is prepared.