Lifestyle

Black pudding company boss defies the sceptics as demand for the delicacy remains high


With veganism becoming increasingly mainstream in recent years, you’d be forgiven for thinking that business at Britain’s leading black pudding maker might be in decline.

However, as LancsLive recently reported, the boss of The Real Lancashire Black Pudding Co says its produce is in high demand, with the firm supplying major supermarkets, top hotels and various celebrity chefs.

Indeed, Andy Holt was told he was “daft” when he purchased the Lancashire-based company from Richard Sanderson Ireland in 1993. The 60-year-old, who is now in semi-retirement, recalls being warned even back then that “it’s only old people who eat black pudding”.

The firm has needed to move with the times as food safety and hygiene legislation became stricter over the years.

But the popularity of its products is soaring thanks to a diversification in its range – including vegetarian black pudding, white pudding and tripe – and the company’s relationship with some of Britain’s most celebrated TV chefs.

Former butcher Andy told LancsLive how the firm went from strength to strength when he purchased it almost 30 years ago.

He said: “A lot of people said ‘you’re daft, it’s only old people who eat black pudding. But fortunately for us it became really popular, thanks to food programmes and top chefs using it, and people were becoming more conscious about where their food comes from.

“I started entering competitions and in the second year won first, second and third place; so we were named the best black pudding in Britain and we’ve held that title for the best part of 25 years.”

The firm’s famous black slices are made by mixing pig’s blood with pork fat. The sourcing of ingredients have changed now from what they were more than 20 years ago when Andy was featured in Rick Stein’s Food Heroes TV series and the process is now mostly automated.



The Real Lancashire Black Pudding Co is one of Britain's biggest manufacturers
The Real Lancashire Black Pudding Co is one of Britain’s biggest manufacturers

Andy said: “We used to have a deal with the local slaughterhouses but because we now supply to supermarkets we have to be a lot more stringent with food safety and hygiene rules.

“So we now use dried pig’s blood, from Spain, which we rehydrate when it gets here. It’s just the same but it means the storage and transportation is a lot more straightforward.”

Andy has a strong friendship with Sunday Brunch chef Simon Rimmer, who recently featured the company’s vegetarian black pudding on the Channel 4 show.

The pair’s relationship dates back to 2012 when Rimmer devised a recipe using vegetarian black pudding for the Great British Menu.

The recipe uses soya protein and whey powder as a substitute for the pig’s blood and the product keeps its dark appearance through the addition of beetroot and caramel. The pork fat alternative is a “closely guarded secret” but includes ‘artificial fat’ (pine kernel oil), oats and rusk as well as seven different herbs and two spices.

Andy added: “I became a bit obsessed with black pudding. I started coming up with all kinds of weird and wonderful recipes. We did one with chilli and chocolate but now we just make it with chilli which is really popular.”

He concluded: “There’s so much you can do with it and to think we’ve become one of the biggest manufacturers in Britain is pretty impressive.”

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