Why do Americans call our Black Pudding "Blood Pie"? And why the hostility towards


If you taste it I am convinced you would like it. I know it’s pig’s blood but it tastes darn good.

To the first question, to Americans, “pudding” automatically means a dessert, and unless further specified (bread pudding, rice pudding, or plum pudding) means a specific sort of dairy-based, custard-like dessert. The notion of a sausage being called “pudding” is just completely foreign to us. The few Americans who have heard of something called “Black Pudding”, it’s from a D&D monster book, and is not in any way something you’d want to eat.

To the second point, it’s probably just an instinctive reaction to all British food. No offense, but you limeys have built up quite a reputation for being at best boring cooks. Yes, yes, I’ve had black pudding, and I know it’s tasty, but most Americans haven’t.

Isn’t that largely because of the GIs experiencing WWII rationing though?

The stereotype of English cooking just doesn’t hold up to scrutiny these days, but I can imagine that it would have been a real shock for servicemen coming from a land of plenty to one where there was a weekly cheese ration and where having meat was a very big deal.

Don’t forget the inescapable cross-cultural ramifications of King Ralph.

“Spotted what?!”
I really like shepherds pie, though. But only when it’s made out of real shepherds.

Same sort of thing happens quite often with ‘pie’.

I would venture to say that most Americans are familiar with meat pies, such as chicken pot pie. But “pie” in a generic sense always means yummy dessert.

That might be part of it. There also seems to be a divide on how we view organ meats: Liver is the stereotypical “eww” meal here, and you won’t see steak and kidney pie in the US. Another factor is the reputation Brits have of boiling everything, which is a surefire way of reducing many foods to tasteless mush. I don’t know how accurate that perception is anymore, though: It might also stem from memories of WWII, and Americans over-boiled food in the forties and fifties, too. Yet another factor is doubtless your close proximity to France, which, let’s face it, kicks both of our butts in the culinary department. So you just look (and taste) bad by comparison to your neighbors.

As mentioned above, it’s partly grammatical. So in this case, pudding=pie? Huh, I never got that before. I know that black sausage=blood sausage, but I thought that black pudding was, um, a big glop of congealed blood. I also continue to get tripped up by the fact that in British, “pie” refers to meat pie by default, instead of sweet pie. So as far as I know, American’s don’t call black pudding “blood pie,” we call it “blood sausage.”

In addition to the American distaste for organ meats, eating something made almost entirely of blood sounds gross. That said, I’ve had blood sausage at a Spanish restaurant before and I thought it was delicious. I’ve also enjoyed beef heart and sheep’s brain, but the smell of cooking beef liver turns my stomach. Tried kidneys once, didn’t care for them.

It is because of the very different interpretations of the word “pudding”. If someone talks about pudding without one of a handful of very specific qualifiers, it means this to an American:


This picture shows vanilla pudding, but it may have been chocolate, butterscotch, etc. But whatever the flavor, “pudding” means strictly a cold, thick, creamy dessert eaten with a spoon (again, except for a very few exceptions like “bread pudding” where the phrase is taken as a whole. Bread pudding is not pudding, if you will, to an American. It’s a dessert that happens to have the word “pudding” in the name.)

Anyway, imagine now a Brit comes along and talks about black pudding.

AMERICAN: Black? What flavor is that?

BRIT: Well… it’s not a flavor. It’s made of pig blood.

AMERICAN: pictures a bowl of cold, thick, coagulated pig blood with a spoon sticking out WTF?! You eat that? runs away
If you ever want to describe or serve black pudding to an American, avoid the word pudding. It’s the source of the problem.

Ugh, just the thought of brains, can’t stomach tripe, tounge is nothing to talk about, can’t stand pig’s feet.

For whatever reason, Americans are not in the habit of eating foods composed of congealed blood. I suspect that due to the continued abundance of big ol’ animals due to lots of land that we stopped eating everything but the oink. I’m sure that inner city immigrants were more than happy to eat animal offal, but as affluence increased, we ate less effluent.

I quite like black pudding and white pudding when in the UK and Ireland, even though I have no idea what goes into the white sausage, although I can imagine the wurst.

To be fair, the concept of “blood pie”, while closer to the actual foodstuff, is seriously freaking nasty as well. In fact, I’d say the American brain-image of “blood pudding” is not nearly as nasty as “blood pie”. Urgh.

Is black pudding the same as blootwurst? Cause that stuff’s yummy.

I happen to love blood pudding.

I love tripe, but usually only in menudo - a messican soup.

I eat tongue - braised (?) in tacos and such - it’s a staple in my heritage.

It’s odd - most people raised on American food will eat raw blood religiously in a rare steak (me too - yum! ), but the mere mention of blood in a food turns them off.

Blood pudding is also an alternative name in the UK for black pudding. Could be regional, my old man was a Scot and he always called it blood pudding.

Speaking as an American, I know I simply could not bring myself to eat blood or organ meats. I’d rather eat an insect. I have a greater fear of blood than most people, though; I almost passed out when I had to have a blood sample taken for allergy testing.

ETA: Seriously, I’m getting queasy reading this thread.

Black pudding at breakfast time can be quite scrumptious.

Of course I was born in Scotland and anything associated with internal organs would be considered a delicacy! :wink:

Seriously though, North Americans can be rather, unduly, picky about certain foods that are not on the main-stay here. Not sure why really. Haggis is basically a sausage, but most folks won’t even try it.


Visiting relatives in Limerick and being served the puds for breakfast, white pudding to me tasted like warm liverwurst, black pudding was nearly inedible. I managed though, but my daughter, eleven at the time, carefully explained that we ‘weren’t used’ to the puddings. We were never served them again.

Anyone wondering about haggis? Here’s a recipe from “A Feast of Scotland,” by Janet Warren, 1979.

'Nuff said.

“unless further specified”? To me “pudding” is always a custardish, creamy dessert, best served refrigerator-cold, and requiring a bowl of some kind. Anything you can slice and serve on a plate would not be pudding as I understand and use Merkin.

Unless Chronos’ usage is a regional thing.

Can someone tell me what’s in Yorkshire pudding?

One of the reasons that Americans have a suspicion of British cooking is because of British literature:

This was the first thing that popped into my head.

Of course, I’m not suggesting American food is anything to write home about, if you weren’t, which you would have to not be, if you ever did. But it’s not uncommon to see the self-deprecating British humor used to slander the cuisine of the islands.