A genuinely delightful delicacy which - just like Champagne, Parmigiano-Reggiano and other Scottish favourites like Arbroath Smokies - now has Protected Geographical Indication (PGI) status, the Stornoway Black Pudding has been whipping up a storm in restaurants all over Scotland since, arguably forever, but is now more popular than ever.
The frequent diner may have noticed in recent times that restaurants up and down the country - particularly those who serve more international-fused cuisines than traditional Scottish eats - have welcomed Stornoway Black Pudding as an additive to their menus, leading to rave reviews as creative chefs from all over showcase the wonderful diversity of the product.
Stornoway Black Pudding is produced, as the name suggests, solely on the Isle of Lewis where Stornoway is sitatued. One known producer is family run business Charles MacLeod Butchers who have an extensive history on the Western Isle dating back to the early 1900's.
Celebrated for its richly unique and decadent flavour and texture, the product is often internationally cited as one of the finest blood puddings.
So why it is so great? Well putting its unforgettable taste to one side, the versatility of the product is a force to be reckoned with. There are several cheap versions of black pudding on the market, but with personal assurance, none will compare to Stornoway's.
The texture in particular is the differentiator to such cheap imitations as it boasts a lovely crumble on the palette and in comparison, lacks the thick lumps of fat of the majority of its rivals.
Speaking as a big fan of the product, the idea when experimenting with Stornoway Black Pudding is to think of what sort of dishes one might use with a distinctive flavour like chorizo and take it from there.
Keeping it in the family, here is a simple and cheap recipe from my cousin James Campbell; a fellow food buff and former chef:
Stornoway black pudding with Braeburn Apple
• 8 Slices of Stornoway Black Pudding
• 1/2 Braeburn Apple
• 2 Yellow Peppers - (Preferably the largest ones you can find)
• Light Extra Virgin Olive Oil
Place the 8 slices of Stornoway Black Pudding into a frying pan with a little bit of butter at a fairly mid to high temperature. This will give a crispy outer crust whilst ensuring the essential rich and creamy insides. Allow approximately two minutes on each side.
Half a Braeburn Apple and then slice into matchsticks and squeeze the lemon over them. This will avoid them turning brown, or oxidizing to use technical terms. This adds to the sharpness of the meal which will balance with the fat of the Stornoway black pudding.
Yellow Peppers can be grilled or fried until soft. Allow for two or three minutes. This will furthermore bring out the sweetness of the yellow peppers.
The Pea shoots should be washed and plated. Splash with Light Extra Virgin Olive Oil then serve.
Addition of a red onion chutney with the pea shoots may also add to the sharpness and sweet flavours of the dish.
So there you have it! A gourmet dish with Stornoway Black Pudding which is easy and cost effective and will feed 3-4 persons.