By Eilidh Whiteford
It may be Willie John's that takes your fancy...or is Charley Barley's the one for you?
Perhaps the Macleod & Macleod offering is what will tempt you the most...
Or you prefer to wander further afield to Cross Stores in the north or A.D. Munro's in the south...
What are we talking about? Black Pudding of course!
World famous, Stornoway Black Pudding hit the headlines around ten years ago when it came under threat of imposters – puddings labelled as Stornoway but made outside the Western Isles.
Coming together, Stornoway's long-standing family butchers – including W.J MacDonald, Charles MacLeod Ltd, and Macleod & Macleod – applied to the EU in 2009 in a bid to gain Protected Geographical Indicator of Origin (PGI) status for the traditional Stornoway product.
PGI status was granted in May 2013 – and the Stornoway Black Pudding can only earn the right to be termed as 'Stornoway' if it is made on the Isle of Lewis in the Stornoway Trust area.
Many an islander will have their own favourite Stornoway Black Pudding, but there is more on offer in both Lewis and Harris, with Cross Stores in Ness and AD Munro's in Tarbert, Harris, also making their own unique black pudding.
Generally made of beef suet, oatmeal, onions and blood, black pudding is delicious alone, but most often found as part of the traditional full breakfast in the UK and Ireland. It's a tradition that followed British and Irish emigrants around the world, with black puddings soon becoming part of the local cuisine in the Canadian provinces of Nova Scotia, Newfoundland and Labrador.
A good source of protein, the blood sausage pudding is low in carbohydrates and high in both zinc and iron – but is also high in saturated fat and cholesterol.
A little bit of what you fancy won't do any harm though, and the PGI status description of Stornoway's black puddings certainly whets the appetite: “They are moist and firm in texture, with discernible, yet small, fat particulates. The Scottish oatmeal used in Stornoway Black Pudding is responsible for its good, rough texture. Stornoway Black Pudding may be cooked in, or out of the skin, they maintain their shape well throughout the cooking process. Once cooked, they appear almost black and break apart very easily when cut, yet do not significantly crumble. The meaty flavour is moist, rich, full, savoury, well seasoned – but not spicy – with a non-greasy, pleasant mouth and clean after taste feel.”