Throwing food is one of those forbidden thrills in life, which could be why the World Black Pudding Throwing Championships are such a hit. Last year's event had a staggering 700 contestants. The 2012 competition, taking place in Ramsbottom, Lancashire, will be held on September 9.
Take That, Yorkshire
The competition is supposedly inspired by the Wars of the Roses rivalry. That was a historic fight between two lines of the royal house of Plantagenet, lasting from 1455 to 1485. The opposing sides were from Lancaster and York, as symbolized in the modern day rivalry. Legend has it that when both factions ran out of ammunition they began an epic food fight.
The current competition started in the 1980s and the only foodstuffs chucked are Bury (Lancastrian) black pudding. The target? Yorkshire pudding, of course.
Although billed as a battle between Lancashire and Yorkshire, Australians actually dominate the competition. Continuing that quirky history, Australian Warwick Turner was the conquering prince of puddings at the 2011 World Black Pudding Throwing Championships. Turner dislodged eight puddings during his winning throw.
While the game may be as simple as chucking pudding at more pudding, there are a few rules. The Yorkshire pudding is always stacked on a ledge atop a 20 foot high tower. The black pudding missile to be tossed must weigh six ounces and is tied in pantyhose.
Competitors are only allowed to toss their black pudding underhand at the target and must be standing on the golden grid. They get three tries each to dislodge as many Yorkshire puddings from the stack as possible. The best throw out of three--the one taking out the most puddings--is the one that counts. The person who knocks down the most Yorkshire puddings is declared the winner.
What is Black Pudding?
Frankly, black pudding sounds a bit mysterious and the dish is unfamiliar to most American pallets. It may sound like a sweet chocolaty dessert, but a black pudding recipe is basically pig's blood, oatmeal, onion and seasoning cooked in a skin. With chunks of fat thrown in. It looks like a black sausage.
Yorkshire pudding, on the other hand, is more of a batter pudding. Which goes a lot towards explaining why one pudding is the target and the other the weapon.
Whatever the ingredients, both come together nicely to make black pudding throwing an interesting international sport.
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