MA Irish Food Culture & Food Ways

Research into the domestic traditions, practices and activities of of Irish Fresh Blood Black Pudding making: "Variously prepared according to the taste and knowledge of the cook..."

Research into the domestic traditions, practices and activities of of Irish Fresh Blood Black Pudding making: “Variously prepared according to the taste and knowledge of the cook…”

Thesis Research for MA in Food Studies and Irish Foodways, University College Cork by Kate Ryan:
An exploration of how contemporary variations in Irish black pudding recipe, technique and presentation is related to historical traditions of domestic food production by women.

To take part in this research, please read the information below and then click this weblink to Survey Monkey link and complete the short questionnaire. When completed and submitted online, Kate Ryan will contact you by your preferred method to arrange a mutually convenient time to conduct an in-depth research interview:


I am conducting research on rural practices of domestic black/blood pudding making in the home. I am interested in recording memories, recollections and stories of domestic black pudding making from the female perspective. I am particularly interested in the details of the day: structure, roles, responsibilities, the importance of recipe, the sights smells and sounds, equipment used, ingredients, the blood used, the form puddings took.

Very little research has been conducted on the role women played in the annual or twice annual pig or cow kill, their important role in making the pudding, which was looked on as a delicacy, the value of recipe, and how some puddings were valued well enough for women to sell the excess providing a small income for themselves.

This research project will consider the role women played in domestic black pudding production and the individual nature of the recipes used.

If you are interested in taking part, please complete this brief initial questionnaire.

Any personal information supplied will be used solely for the purposes of this research project and will be kept, processed and used in compliance with existing GDPR regulations. If at any time during the period of data collection (i.e. interviews) you wish to withdraw your participation, please expressly state your wish to withdraw and all relevant personal information will be identified and destroyed.

What’s the fascination with black pudding?

I first began researching the social and cultural history of black pudding for UCC Postgraduate Diploma in Irish Food Culture. My research project was “The Social and Cultural History of Blood as Food in Ireland and its Role in the Formation of Identity for Clonakilty Blackpudding.”

I also wrote about black pudding for the UK-based online food journal Vittles“The Aleph: A Story of Irish Food in One Pudding.”

In 2023, I attended the Oxford Food Symposium and presented a paper on specific aspects of Irish black pudding culture under the theme of that years’ symposium, Rites and Rituals: “Perfectly Civilised and Proper”

Aside from milk and butter, foods made from the blood of animals are some of the oldest we have in Ireland, but its value is often overlooked. One of my research aims is to highlight the female perspective as important to the role of Irish food culture as it relates to black pudding production in the home.

To take part in this survey, please follow this Survey Monkey link and complete the short questionnaire:

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