Report by Little Jim Ladd (our countrywide reporter of the nation’s underbelly)
This time we set our compass for the darkest bowels of old Yorkshire, at a place called Bloody Eckingthrapple, on the outskirts of Obsolescence.
The tenor of life in this little but heaving citadel of bloody-mindedness and obduracy in telling it how it is, is underpinned by its habitual, ritualistic recognition of the British breakfast at its most defiantly unhealthy. At the heart of this granite attitude to modern notions of healthy living lies the piece de resistance, made infamous by old Bob Inforapples’ ancestry since the middling-to-poor ages. In Eckingthrapple every day is Black Pudding .Fry Day. Their village pride is entwined in this rural delectation made apparently simply from pig’s blood. Everyone in the village has a fierce love of this seemingly black and white foodstuff. Anyone not partaking of black pudding is ostracised and some have even been exiled from the place: even the Lord of the manor was told to bugger off when he refused to keep up the eating of the pudding. Ironically, the old manor is the location of the modern factory that processes black puddings for export, as a lesson for anyone balking at continuing the tradition. Vegetarians are given the old ‘V-sign’ on any menu at all the eateries in the village. There’s a dark mistrust of anyone who will not eat black pudding, dating back as far as thirteen fifty-five, when the first black pudding denial trials were held in the village. Five people were found guilty of unlawfully and seditiously seasoning the pudding – denial as it was deemed by the then Baron Happenstance – and run out of the village by the village boar, which was a most vicious beast, fed only on unadulterated, home-produced black pudding.
We asked many of the villagers of the black pudding and they all confirmed that it was down to the way the pigs were nurtured before the blood-letting that made the pudding such a purists delight, and a world-renowned breakfast element. We were able to visit the school house where the pigs are taught humility and a spirit of willing self-sacrifice for the good of the many that creates a deep sense of citizenship in the porkers. The teacher at the school, Abby Strow, narrates Animal Farm by George Orwell every day. “It’s to educate the porkers about how power can corrupt and make a meal of anyone that doesn’t stay aware of their identity and role in the theatre of community cohesion,” Ms Strow said.
There is also a community hall where locals and any visitors can gather for a black pudding banquet. Competitions are held to ascertain only the best offerings are marked for export to all parts of the world.
“It’s the spirit of the porkers that gives the pudding its unique taste: it’s the taste of genuine joy and freedom. These two fundamental elements run thickly in the porkers’ blood and congeals beautifully to form bloody bliss on a plate!” Tad Early, the town crier and maitre d’ of The Dog’s Bollocks restaurant said earnestly.
“You’ll not get blacker black pudding anywhere in the world,” said the village bore, Eric Owhatth’ell, a researcher in the black pudding arts, who regales anyone within hearing distance without invitation. Even the local newspaper is called The Daily Black & White in honour of the pudding, and the attitude of the whole village to the great pudding.
We had to make a hasty exit when one of our number tried to crack a joke about the introduction of a Quorn version of the black pudding.