From plumbing to black pudding - it may not seem an obvious change of direction but, when the economic downturn forced Jimmy Allen to downsize his plumbing business, producing traditional black pudding turned out to be a satisfying new venture.
Putog de Roiste goes back to a family recipe handed down from Elsie De Roiste, grandmother of Máire and Seán De Roiste of the eponymous shop at The Mills Inn, Ballyvourney. Unlike most Irish black puddings, which mainly use dried (usually imported) blood, the De Roiste and Allen families of Ballyvourney were determined that their new product would be made in the traditional way with fresh pork - and fresh blood.
Working initially with pudding supremo, Anthony Staunton of the renowned Timoleague butchers and a family member, Food Science and Technology graduate Siobhán Ní Laoithe De Roiste, who advised on production regulations, they managed to source the precious fresh blood from a Co Cork supplier - and now, following the 3 day production cycle of the original recipe, they produce a black pudding with a history and an important USP.
It’s another good news story of Irish food, demonstrating yet again that quality pays. Having started with a black and a white pudding, their success led to expanding production to include rashers and sausages - which were also well received.
Putog de Roiste is made in traditional rings as well as three sizes of chubbs and widely available from small supermarkets and independent stores throughout Munster. You’ll find them at the Toonsbridge Dairy shop (see entry), and The Real Olive Company also distributes them to independent shops and restaurants in Dublin - Avoca, Mortons, Lilliput Stores in Stoneybatter among them - and you may spot them in SuperValu and on menus at good restaurants like Moloughneys in Clontarf and Weafer & Cooper in Glasthule.