Medal is proof of the pudding for Wisbech butcher

PUBLISHED: 17:24 25 June 2013 | UPDATED: 17:24 25 June 2013

Matt Cockin from The Fruitpig Company with his award winning black pudding. Picture: Matthew Usher.

Matt Cockin from The Fruitpig Company with his award winning black pudding. Picture: Matthew Usher.

© Archant Norfolk 2013

A Cambridgeshire butcher has been awarded an international prize for his black puddings.

Wisbech-based The Fruit Pig Company took a silver medal at the unofficial but widely respected annual black pudding competition at Mortagne au Perche in Orne, France.

The man behind the pudding is butcher Matt Cockin, 47, who currently runs the company on his own, acting as butcher, delivery driver and cleaner.

He is one of only 11 butchers in the UK who use fresh blood in their black puddings instead of the dried blood powder which has become common.

“There’s not many of us that do. I’m the only one in East Anglia as far as I know,” he said.

“As an artisan producer it has to be the real McCoy. Certain people won’t even look at it if it’s not made with fresh blood.

“I started making black pudding in January and decided to send it into the championship in Normandy. There were 600 entries from around the world – a lot of Brits, Germans, French and even on from Japan.”

The company specialises in products made from rare breed pigs.

As well as the fresh blood, his black pudding is made with oats and sultanas, giving it a hearty feel along with a few local mustard seeds and a blend of herbs and spices.

As well as black pudding he also produces a range of gluten-free products and traditional foods as well as less common items such as cheek bacon.

After leaving the RAF Mr Cockin decided to retrain as a butcher before moving to East Anglia.

He started the company by accident after a friend loved his sausages so much she started to advertise them to buyers.

He said: “At first I was shocked as I didn’t think I could fill the orders but I’m so glad she did it. Considering I set up in a recession it is going very well. Fortunately there is a lot of good eating in Norfolk.”

Now in its 51st year the black pudding competition is organised by The Confrerie des Chevaliers du Goute Boudin or The Black Pudding Fraternity of Lovers of Good Food.

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