Last updated: August 10, 2021

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Blood sausage was first mentioned in ancient times and has had a long history ever since. The original motivation for making it was to use as much of the slaughtered pig as possible. Today, black pudding is found in a wide variety of dishes. It is therefore known by various names both within Germany and internationally.

Whether fried in a main dish or served cold as a snack, black pudding is very versatile. You can buy it in a jar, in a can or freshly packaged. Our guide will give you a precise overview and make your purchase decision easier.




The most important facts

  • To avoid confusion about the names of the products: black pudding is known under various names. That is why you will also find it under the synonyms red sausage, black pudding or black sausage. Black pudding is a common name in English-speaking countries.
  • You can buy black pudding either fresh in the casing, in a can or in a jar. The main difference is the shelf life. The taste of fresh black pudding is certainly more intense for most people.
  • There are countless dishes you can cook with black pudding. Nevertheless, the composition of the side dishes is often similar and we present the best-known dishes in the guide below. However, there are few limits to your imagination when it comes to cooking. Feel free to try it out!

The Best Black Pudding: Our Picks

In the following section we have listed our favourites among the blood sausages. The comparison should give you an overview and make your purchase decision easier. In each paragraph you will also find the option to order your favourite black pudding directly.

Buying and evaluation criteria for blood sausages

There is a wide variety of blood sausages from different manufacturers on the market. To give you an overview and a feeling for the evaluation criteria, we have summarised what we consider to be the most important ones for you.

The criteria often depend on each other and influence each other. But don't worry, because in the following we will explain to you what you have to consider when making your choice and what is important. In the end, you will be able to make an informed purchase decision.

Packaging size and type

You can buy black pudding in practically any size of package, i.e. in any quantity. This is usually directly related to the type of packaging. For this criterion, your first consideration should be how many people you want to cook for. After that, it is best to base the portion size on the official recommendations of the German Nutrition Society (DGE). This recommends a quantity of about 150g of meat per person. Of course, you can adjust this according to your own wishes and those of your guests.

So if you want to cook for yourself or your partner, an ordinary package size is usually enough. If you want to invite your friends or family, you can either order the same product twice or a larger portion of the same product.

Shelf life

The shelf life of black pudding depends on various factors. Basically, fresh black pudding in the intestine can only be kept for a few days in the refrigerator. That's why it's best to use it immediately after buying it. If you bought blood sausage in stock or did not manage to process it all, you can also freeze it. To do this, simply pack it in a suitable container or vacuum pack the food. This way, the black pudding will keep for about 3 - 5 months.

You can recognise dried or smoked black pudding by its very dark colour. It will keep for about two weeks in a pantry or, if necessary, well packed in the refrigerator. Blood sausage from an unopened jar or tin has the longest shelf life. Depending on the manufacturer, the shelf life varies between 12 and 24 months. This is the best way to stock up on a large quantity of black pudding.

Taste

As we all know, tastes are different, but there are of course aspects that make blood sausages taste better or worse. First of all, of course, it depends on the quality of the ingredients. Whether the individual parts of the pork come from factory farming or from an organic farm makes the biggest difference. The quality of the various spices also plays a role.

You should basically distinguish whether you order your black pudding fresh, smoked or dried, or from a jar or a can. Most people, of course, like fresh food much better. However, some people will certainly prefer canned blood sausages. The choice of manufacturer also plays a role. One of the most important aspects, however, is what types of blood sausage you already know or are used to.

Origin of ingredients

This criterion is the most difficult to judge, as most producers of black pudding do not use organic labels. So unfortunately it is theoretically possible that all the ingredients, i.e. the pigs and their individual parts used, come from factory farming. Blood sausage brands with a higher price often advertise their product by saying that the meat comes from their own breeding and slaughtering.

When buying, look at the product description and check the brand and manufacturer if necessary. If you choose a lower-priced black pudding, the likelihood of inferior ingredients increases. On the other hand, products with a higher price are no guarantee of better ingredients, but the probability is slightly higher.

Guide: Frequently asked questions about black pudding answered in detail

In the following section we will answer the most important questions about black pudding. Then you can get a complete picture of the food and make the right decision when buying it.

Who is black pudding suitable for?

Blood sausage is basically suitable for all people who like to try out different types of sausages. Blood sausage in particular offers a lot of variety thanks to the many different regional variations. Since black pudding was originally developed from the idea that as much of the animal as possible should be used, it is also suitable if you want to do something against food waste.

In addition, fans of traditional German cuisine in particular get their money's worth when preparing black pudding. Cooked sausages, including black pudding, can also be eaten during pregnancy. However, because of the high fat content, pregnant women should only enjoy them in moderation.

What variations of black pudding are there?

The variations of blood sausages basically differ according to their shelf life. This results from the production process and the type of packaging. During production, the blood sausage is either filled into sausage casings, tins or jars. Finally, some varieties are smoked, which increases the shelf life.

So the most important thing for you is what quantity you buy and in what packaging. With fresh sausage, for example in ring form, you should be careful not to take too much at once. Otherwise your black pudding could go bad more quickly. However, if you buy several tins or jars, for example, you have a longer shelf life and don't have to use it all up right away. Once opened, you should of course treat the packaging like fresh produce and use it up quickly.

What does black pudding cost?

Since black pudding does not contain fillet or similar high-quality meat parts, it is one of the cheaper types of sausage. The most important factor in the price is the declared origin of the ingredients. Nevertheless, there is of course a certain price range, which we would like to clarify for you with the following table.

Price range Available products
Low-priced (up to 10 €/kg) little choice, origin of ingredients often not clearly declared
Medium-priced (10 - 20 €/kg) most choice
High-priced (from 20 €/kg) little choice, meat often from own slaughterhouses

As you can see, you will find the most choice of black pudding in a medium price category. For a price per kilo starting at 20 €, butchers often state that their pork comes from their own slaughterhouses.

What dishes can you cook with black pudding?

Blood sausage is used boiled or fried as the main ingredient in many traditional German dishes. The biggest difference between them is often the exact cooking procedure. In fact, the usual side dishes are relatively straightforward and only vary in the way they are prepared. You will usually find potatoes, sauerkraut, bacon and onions in the recipes.

Blutwurst Eintopf mit Kartoffeln

Fresh black pudding in the intestine can be used for many delicious dishes. Potatoes are by far the most common side dish. (Image source: RitaE / Pixabay)

The dish "Tote Oma" (dead granny) is very well known from the former GDR or today's East Germany. Here, black pudding is cut into small pieces and fried with diced onions until mushy. The meal is then served with potatoes and sauerkraut.

"Heaven and earth" is the name of another well-known dish from the German-Polish region. You fry smoked black pudding with onions and bacon and serve it with boiled potatoes at the end. Alternatively, you can also fry the potatoes with finely chopped apples.

A coated pan is often suitable for frying black pudding so that the sausage does not stick. However, you can use any pan with enough oil. Alternatively, you can also heat black pudding in a saucepan with water.

Conclusion

To bring a breath of fresh air into your kitchen, black pudding is an excellent food. Due to the large number of products, brands and manufacturers, you have countless options. On the other hand, the choice can quickly overwhelm you.

Whether you are cooking for yourself or inviting your family and friends, there is always the right product available in the right quantity. Finally, we recommend that you let your taste buds do the talking and try out the different offers. If you don't like blood sausage, you can freeze most products to preserve them longer and give them to your friends as gifts.

(Cover photo: Edi Libedinsky / Unsplash)

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