Black puddings are some of my favourite things. Other kinds of blood puddings are okay at a pinch (JNZ’s is particularly fine), but nothing compares to the blood, oatmeal, and beef suet creations born in England. Slices of quickly heated black pudding are the perfect complement to any configuration of the traditional English breakfast, or served between two heavily-buttered pieces of good bread.
Most North Americans shy away from trying this perfect food. Obviously, the list of ingredients will seem unattractive to some. But it is also true that most black puddings are cooked too long and turn into hockey pucks. Thus, even if you are brave enough to try it, it may be horrible and put you off a second attempt.
I was lucky enough to be raised in London where they know how to cook their puddings. And I love them.
Experienced cooks will recognize what I mean when I say that for me, in the context of a fried breakfast, black pudding performs like an anchovy in a beef stew. It dissipates a flavor that complements and embraces all the other flavours and yet almost evaporates under examination; umami, as the Japanese have it.
A wonderful experience. And now we hear it is oddly healthy apparently,
“according to well-known nutritional oracle MuscleFood (an online shop specialising in lean meats for body builders). A spokesman … claimed the pudding is becoming so popular with their health-conscious customers that they have declared it ‘a new buzzword in clean eating. Black pudding is a superfood. Low in carbohydrates, high in protein, filled with essential nutrients. Lancastrian Viagra, I call it.”
In a post yesterday, I outlined a few of the developments that are altering Grandview beyond recognition. As if on cue, on Wednesday October 9th, Heritage Vancouver and SFU are hosting a conversation specifically called “What do we do about neighbourhoods?” To quote their website:
“Neighbourhoods are often positively associated with community. They tend to have a combination of qualities that communities identify with which can make them distinct. These include the people, the types of interactions they have with each other, nature, types of commercial spaces, housing tenure, and public spaces in addition to the type and design of buildings. However, there are conflicting views as to whether this distinctiveness is positive or not.”
In 2016, I was a panellist on one of these “Shaping Vancouver” conversations, and this is part of what I had to say then about the changing nature of the Drive:
“Since that time – for some 60 years – the Drive has been the scene of continuous change. We have had a constant change of people on the Drive – starting with the Italians and the Portuguese and some East Europeans, followed by Central Americans, Jamaicans, those from the Middle East, and a variety of Africans. Not only different cultures and nationalities and languages, but also different sexualities and those of various economic circumstances were welcomed to the neighbourhood.
Each of these groups have left their mark on the patina that is the glory of the Drive today. They have changed building styles, grocery options, street art, food availability, everything; and they have done this over and over again.
And all of these continuous changes have been welcomed, indeed encouraged, by most Drive residents. And that is because all these changes have been subtle, incremental, and evolutionary within the general envelope of what the Drive is – which is a place of low-rise buildings, 25′ store fronts, and, importantly, local business ownership.
That is how we got to today, and it this same velocity and style of change that will maintain the Drive that we all love. Introducing rapid and intrusive change can only damage what is a highly successful and well-loved neighbourhood.”
My opinion hasn’t changed. It will be interesting to hear a discussion on this three years later. Hope to see some of you there.