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Start the day with a bit of black pudding; LETTERS Email: sundaymercury@sundaymercury.net.

REGIONAL foods define the history and heritage of the region they evolved in.

The East End favours jellied eels and pie and mash, for Liverpool it is scouse, the West Country have Cornish pasties, Wales enjoy lava bread, and Scotland favour the haggis.

Up here in the Black Country it is faggots and mushy peas.

These are just a microcosm of produce peculiar to their locations, there are hundreds more.

All the counties and shires of merry England are rightly proud of its individual delicacies. Some are universal, the trifle, that delicious mixture of creamy custard, sherry and sponge cake are something of a mystery to the jaded palates of visiting septic's and mainland Europeans.

During my travels around these islands as a tradesman, I made a point of trying all the local fare of whichever town I happened to be working in.

One that grabbed my taste buds is black pudding, not that bland mass-produced stuff churned out for the big multinationals, but the local handmade delicacy, crafted by master butchers and local farmers for consumption by discerning aficionados of real locally made, mouth watering food.

Her indoors had me trotting up to the local family-run butchers, in their display I spotted some black puddings, no two the same, all hand made, which tells me that they are locally produced.

So half a pound (ask your grandparents) was bought which will be fried up with a couple of free range eggs, thick cut smoked bacon and some mushrooms for Sunday's breakfast, a veritable heart attack on a plate.

What's not to like? Well, my old Dutch cannot stomach the stuff, her reasoning is because it is made with pig's blood and what she describes as "globs of lard", it has to be a health risk she says.

I don't complain when we visit the folks in East London and she necks pie, mash and liquor or parsley source, which is traditionally made with the water from the preparation of stewed up eels, yuk! So it is severe helpings of black pudding and the traditional full English with a mug of China's finest, a couple of toasted slices with marmite...What!? Ok, so it's not to everyone's taste but I guarantee that after that little lot you won't eat again for at least ten hours.

I forgot to mention that black pudding originates from Lancashire, although the Scots would contest that statement.

Anyway who cares, the taste and texture compliments a good fry up, and what better way to start the day than with one of Albion's magnificent, wonderful creations. The downside is that clean underwear is mandatory, the side effects can be somewhat explosive.

Bon appetit.

Tony Levy, Wednesfield

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Title Annotation:Letters
Publication:Sunday Mercury (Birmingham, England)
Geographic Code:4EUUK
Date:Dec 9, 2018
Words:450
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