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Puddings are as traditional to British fare as burgers are to the States. And there are many different variations of puddings commonly found on pub menus across the United Kingdom.

Perhaps the most unusual pudding is the black one. To cook up a black pudding, one first must have a slaughtered animal oozing with blood.

That’s right. The pudding’s main ingredient is animal blood that is chilled until it congeals into a sausage form.

The pudding is often served in an English full breakfast along with eggs, bacon, mushrooms and baked beans.

Although it’s also known as blood pudding and blood sausage, the dish is usually called black pudding, probably to make it sound more appetizing. It may even boost sales from diners unaware of its gory feature.

Other than the life force of animals, the dish can be mixed with oatmeal, onions and animal fat. In the U.K., blood from pigs and sheep are normally used, according to a British Broadcasting Corp. report.

The origin behind these fleshy puddings is a little vague. The BBC reports that this culinary delight has been around for as long as animals have been slaughtered for food. It also brought up examples from ancient Greece, including a poetic reference from Homer’s "Odyssey" of a roasted stomach filled with blood and fat.

The art of making these types of dishes can be found across the world. But do they celebrate the dish by launching it in the air? Well, in England, they do.

Held annually in Ramsbottom, outside of Manchester, the World Black Pudding Throwing Championships draw hundreds of competitors who hurl the dried, bloody pieces wrapped in ladies’ tights at a 20-foot-high stack of Yorkshire puddings.

Whoever knocks the most Yorkshires down is declared the winner of this contest that dates back to a battle between armies of the Houses of Lancaster and York during the War of the Roses.

Got a question about something you’ve seen or heard around the United Kingdom? E-mail us at: uknews@estripes.osd.mil


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