Black pudding knights get the full Irish welcome
IT may be old news to lovers of the traditional Irish fry -- but Ireland has finally been recognised as the home of black pudding by the leading global authorities on the delicacy.
Twenty-five members of the elaborately named 'Brotherhood of the Knights of the Black Pudding' have arrived here to induct three Irish producers into their exclusive group for the first time.
The honour of being invited to join the France-based fraternity is seen as a huge coup, particularly as the group admitted that only three years ago they had no idea black pudding was even produced in this country.
But yesterday the 'knights' donned their traditional robes and headgear and marched through Newport, Co Mayo, in an elaborate ceremony to present producer Sean Kelly, of Kelly's Butchers, with a bronze medal before knighting him.
Today, the fraternity will induct and award a gold medal to Jack McCarthy, from Kanturk, Co Cork.
And tomorrow the knights will formally honour Willie Allshire, of Rosscarbery, Co Cork, with a silver medal and induction. It was Mr Allshire's traditional Rosscarbery pudding that first grabbed the attention of the fraternity three years ago, when he became the first Irishman to be awarded a gold medal by the group.
The Black Pudding Fraternity, or 'Confrerie des Chevaliers du Goute Boudin' was set up in 1963 in Mortagne-au-Perche, in the heart of France, by a group of lovers of good food to promote the tradition of eating the delicacy, which is made from pig's blood, fat and onion.
They receive thousands of entries from across the world, and award dozens of medals in many different categories.