By MARIA HERLIHY
AWARD titles come in many forms, but McCarthy’s Butchers in Kanturk can justifiably claim to have one of the more unusual under their belts.
Jack and his son Tim can now be known as members of the ‘Brotherhood of the Knights of the Black Pudding’ – a title they won in the face of intense competition from 4,000 entrants from across Europe in a black pudding contest held in France. The title also goes by the name – La Confrérie des Chevaliers du Goúte Boudin.
Tim McCarthy told The Corkman that, considering the last wild boar in the country was slain in Kanturk — and no doubt his red blood was made into tasty black pudding — that it was fitting the accolade should to to Duhallow country.
The father and son team spotted the competition on the Internet, entered it and sent off their produce. The annual competition in Mortagne-au-Perche in Normandy is taken very seriously and the entire town is decked out in flags and balloons for the competition. There is also a parade through the town and where entrants showcase their puddings.
This reporter remarked that the title of the accolade had all the hallmarks of a Monty Python sketch. “That is very true, particularly when people are decked out in costumes and there’s music and a parade all in homage to the humble black pudding,” laughed Tim.
Recently, McCarthy’s launched a new online website and can have their produce at anyone’s door throughout the country in 16 hours. Tim explained that all foods are put in a specialised cooled container and once they receive an order, it is prepared and delivered.
He said that, with the downturn in the economy, the day of the “Celtic Tiger fillet steak,” is well and truly gone and people are going back to basics. “A belly of pork is now back in vogue and it’s also great comfort food. People are going back to recipes that their grandmothers had,” he said.
When a customer signs up on McCarthy’s website, they will receive a deluge of recipes with cialities that include Sliabh Luachra beef, Guinness and cider spiced beef and North Cork pancetta.