The NeighbourFood Podcast


Black Pudding, the story of Irish cuisine told through this ordinary and extraordinary food, with food writer Kate Ryan of

Black pudding, blood sausage, and for Irish and UK listeners this food will need no introduction. Loved on breakfast plates across the country, did you know that Black Pudding tells the story of modern Irish cuisine through its ingredients, history, recipe hand me downs and much more?

We speak to food writer, Kate Ryan of who recently penned the article “The Aleph: The Story of Irish Food in One Pudding”. It is based on her studies in Irish Food Culture Post Graduate Course at University College Cork, where Kate did a research paper on the topic. 

We got stuck into the medieval process of making black pudding and how it’s done today. We learned about the exchange of recipes and meitheal of preparing food in the community. We talked about the history of this quintessentially Irish ingredient of fresh blood (now Protected Geographical Indication Recognised in parts of Ireland) and the ingenuity that is shown by butchers around the country in their preparation of pudding today. We then tested and compared three different black puddings, local to Kate’s hometown of Clonakilty. They were Rosscarberry Recipes, Clonakilty Black Pudding and Haulie O’Neil of MJ O Neils Artisan Butcher Shop in Clonakilty. She gave us some tips on to cook pudding at home and eat it at times, other than breakfast… who knew?!?!?  

Kate Ryan is a food writer and founder of dedicated to championing Irish Food through writing and food adventures. Follow her on instagram ( ) or facebook ( @flavourwestcork )

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Potato Potato - Ireland's love affair with the humble spud (replay)

This week, we decided to revisit a classic episode from the NeighbourFood podcast archives. As you may have heard, the World Potato Congress that was recently hosted in Dublin, we felt this was a topical and fun episode and a fun look at Ireland’s love affair with the humble spud.Throughout this episode we have with lots of contributors who tell us why this is.We speak to food writer John McKenna of McKenna's Guides about Ireland’s romantic connection to the food that let us down in our past and yet how we return time and time again, like a faithless lover to the spud we love so well.Did you know the process of flavouring crisps was invented here in Ireland? That’s right and Tayto Crisps are responsible for the world-famous cheese and onion flavour! We tracked down Peter Murphy, son of Joe “Spud” Murphy, the founder of Tayto who told us about his entrepreneurial dad, his Peter Pan existence and that Ah-Ha moment when they stumbled across the much-loved Cheese and Onion flavour combination.There are small farmers throughout the country growing potatoes for their local market. We speak to Maria Flynn of Ballymackenny Farm Potatoes who taking over the family farm, realised they were never going to survive on glowing Roosters and Queens alone. So they took a chance on growing heritage and heirloom speciality potatoes and targeting chefs with their more unusual produce. When the pandemic hit, they lost 100% of their customers overnight, so we hear their story of survival.Now, do you think it’s possible to live on Potatoes alone? We find a man in India who claims to do just that. The Aloo Baba lives in the mountains in Pushkar, India and eats 10kg potatoes a day!!!! That’s some feat, but he claims it keeps him young and gives him clarity. Vikrant Naidu, chef at The Lodge, Myrtleville, Cork steps in to translate and also gives us an insight into the culture of potatoes in his home county of India.And finally, potatoes are far more than a carbohydrate on our plate, they also make an interesting ingredient in spirits, such as Poitin. Michael O’Boyle of Baoilleach Distillery in Donegal explains why spuds were sometimes used in the mashbill of poitín makers back in the day and when he chooses to continue this tradition in his own poitin collection “Mulroy Bay”.Enjoy this spudcast full of poppy love.