Kanturk’s queen of black puddings gets French gold medal of approval

Winning recipe based on pudding first created for historic visit by the late Queen Elizabeth to Ireland in 2011

Tim and Jack Mc Carthy of Mc Carthy's Butchers, Kanturk, Co. Cork with their Gold Medal received for their Coronation Pudding, a recipe cpmprising Teelings Whisky, Cream and Apple, won from La Confrérie des Chevaliers du Goûte Boudin, or the Brotherhood of the Knights of the Black Pudding in Mortagne-au-Perche, in the heart of France. Pic Michael Mac Sweeney/Provision

Concubhar Ó LiatháinCorkman

A whisky, cream and apple black pudding they first created for the late Queen Elizabeth during her visit to Ireland in 2011 was the inspiration for the latest creation by McCarthy’s artisan butchers in Kanturk which has just won a gold medal in a prestigious French competition in Normandy.

The ‘Coronation Black Pudding’  the accolade from the Confrèrie Des Chevaliers Du Goûte-boudin, or the Fraternity of the Knights of Black Pudding, the only gold medal secured by an Irish product in the prestigious competition. The Black Pudding Fraternity 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.

"Anything you win outside your own area is massive,” butcher Tim McCarthy told The Corkman.  “And winning in France where they are very parochial in a good way about their food is to be celebrated.”

Tim told this newspaper that the whisky, cream and apple black pudding had been created originally for the late Queen Elizabeth when she visited Ireland in 2011 and had been much lauded and appreciated at the time.

"This is a variant of that recipe and we’re calling it the Coronation Black Pudding,” said Tim.

"Back in 2010, the last year Cork won an All Ireland, when we were inducted into the Confrèrie, we won the competition outright and hupefully that’s a good omen!”

It wasn’t the only black pudding entered by the Kanturk butchery in the prestigious competition as they also had a chocolate and pistachio black pudding for adjudication and that has attracted a great deal of favourable attention from chefs and critics alike.

"We like to play around with it, be creative,” said Tim.  “Black pudding and our other breakfast products are great and loved by the public and this is a way to widen the scope and appeal of these products beyond the breakfast, to the starter plate for chefs in some of the fine restaurants locally and throughout the country.

"You could try it with a bit of poached pear or carmelised apple in a salad, it’s a real treat.”

The award for the Kanturk pudding comes the same week as the renowned gourmet guide, Michelin, awarded a star to Terre in Castlemartyr and a second star to Dede’s Custom House in Baltimore.  “There was a Michelin star in Cork before it was anywhere else in the country – at the Arbutus Lodge – and Eddie Twomey of Clonakilty Puddings was the pioneer for us, without his example, we wouldn’t be where we are today.”

"It’s important to champion local products and remember seasonality – use our local products when they’re in season,” he said.  “Strawberries at Christmas don’t work – May and June is the time for them.”

At present the Wild Garlic Sausage is one of the big sellers in McCarthy’s while the Coronation Black Pudding and the Chocolate and Pistachio Pudding are also very popular.   In the coming weeks, these products will give way to products aimed at the Summer barbecue season.

Championing the local and seasonal is the name of the game for McCarthy’s – and it’s clear this is proving to be a winning formula for local fans and global gourmets alike!