Guyanese Black vs. White Pudding

White pudding
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White pudding was created for those who are a bit squeamish about eating blood products—and that's exactly what traditional black pudding is made of. White pudding is a version of the traditional black pudding that's made in Guyana and elsewhere around the world. 

the difference between black and white pudding
Illustration: Alex Dos Diaz. © The Spruce, 2019

The Origin of White Pudding 

It's believed that both black and white puddings originated in Great Britain and Ireland, not Guyana or elsewhere in South America or the Caribbean. In all likelihood, they migrated to the Americas with British and Irish settlers. 

White Pudding vs. Black Pudding 

Some say that black pudding a superfood, but it's definitely an acquired taste. Yes, it's loaded with protein and antioxidants, but it's also has a high-fat content. It's literally made with animal blood, usually, that of pigs in Guyana, mixed with fat and oatmeal then stuffed into casings called runners. The runners are cleaned well with lime juice and salt first to clear out all traces of mucus. The blood trapped in the runners turns dark, thus the name "black" pudding. In fact, black pudding is sometimes called blood pudding.

It's not uncommon to find globules of fat tucked inside black pudding, and it tends to have a strong—some even say overpowering—flavor. The "pudding" part is a misnomer. It's not sweet, and you wouldn't want to serve it to anyone for dessert. 

How White Pudding Is Made 

White pudding is effectively the same thing as black pudding, minus the blood ingredient that turns it dark. Coconut milk substitutes for the blood. Some recipes call for the addition of minced liver. 

White pudding's predominant ingredient is rice. It won't appear on any dessert menus, either, despite the coconut milk substitution. It's made with fresh herbs such as basil and thyme, and sometimes with minced onions. Green and half green mangoes are often added in Guyana. The rice is allowed to cool to room temperature after it's cooked, then it's moistened with the coconut milk and herbs and vegetables may be added. The mixture is stuffed into sausage casings and steamed. 

Although recipes for both white and black pudding abound on the Internet, it might be a challenge to make your own black pudding. It typically calls for at least a pint of cow's blood or pig's blood. White pudding is another matter. You can substitute regular milk for coconut milk if necessary. It's said that the art is to get the rice just right, achieving a perfect texture somewhere between hard and soft. Hard rice will break open the runners while rice that's too soft will turn into unappetizing mush. You can either boil or steam the finished sausages. 

Like black pudding, white pudding is often served with a pickle, also known as a "sour" in Guyana. 

When to Buy White Pudding 

Black and white puddings are made and sold on weekends in Guyana. If you don't happen to be in South America and you want to try it, you can purchase Irish white pudding online—yes, Amazon sells white pudding, too—or visit a Latin American market if you have one in your area.