A butcher from the heartland of English black pudding has stepped in to save the people of Malta from suffering EU heartache.
The traditional Maltese dish mazzita, their version of black pudding, has been increasingly difficult to find on the Mediterranean island after they joined the EU in 2004. European legislation outlawed the traditional island method of drawing pigs’ blood (akin to the halal method). Instead butchers were told they had to invest 50,000 euros on a machine to do the job.
This was something that local butchers simply couldn’t afford so the mazzita was in danger of dying out completely.
Help is at hand, however, in the shape of Andy Holt, the owner of RS Ireland (The Real Lancashire Black Pudding Company) at Rossendale. Being a self-confessed “anorak” about black pudding, he inevitably heard about the plight of the Maltese. Andy set about tracking down a recipe for mazzita on the Internet and after considerable research, discovered a long-established method of making it.
After some trial and error and discussion and taste trials with a Maltese resident, Andy perfected his mazzita. He has now won a contract to supply the island and his first batch of 600 packs of mazzita (Lancashire-style) has been dispatched to Malta.
Blackpudding.org has done our own research on mazzita and learned that it is made with fresh blood, a particular selection of spices and sultanas. It is usually cut into 1-inch thick rings and dried with a little oil and some garlic. The Maltese like it served freshly-made with eggs and chips, Maltese bread and dry red wine.
In Maltese there is a saying: “Fl-aħħar tal-mazzita ssib iż-żbiba” (at the bottom of the blood sausage you will find the raisin) which means that perseverance will be rewarded. Thanks to the perseverance of Andy Holt, the people of Malta can once again taste their best-loved island delicacy.