Going back two or three generations, East Anglia is my ancestral home. My grandfather maintained that we could (loosely) trace our lineage back to that most famous nuisance Wat Tyler, leader of the Peasants' Revolt.
In that sense, since moving back to Cambridge, I've returned 'home'.
But I was born and bred in the North West. My accent may be softening (or non-existent) but I still feel an affinity for this part of the country.
There are a few culinary traditions that seem to be unique to the region: Eccles cakes (a flaky pastry cake housing a lightly spiced and tightly packed collection of raisins), Lancashire oven bottoms (a soft bread roll), chip barmcakes (said bread roll stuffed with chips and possibly a splash of thick gravy. Carb-tastic) and black pudding.
There are many variations of 'blood sausage': Spanish Morcilla, French Boudin Noir, or the Boudin Rouge from Louisiana. But the best come from the large Lancashire market town of Bury ('Buh-reh') just north of Manchester.
Made with pigs' blood, thickened with oats and pork fat, it is then spiced, stuffed into natural casings and steamed, transforming the colour from a vibrant red to the familiar black.
They are then left to cool before being sold in large slices or the famous horseshoe shape.
Before consuming, they must be cooked again either gently boiled or fried in a little butter.
Which is what I did this morning. Along with a couple of rashers of bacon and a fresh egg. Not the healthiest way to start the day but a hell of a lot tastier than a bowl of muesli.
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