Edward Twomey was Mr Clonakilty Black Pudding. I was sad to read in my local Bandon Opinion last week that he had passed away. The story of Edward and his pudding is one that I think very few people know.
Since I started eating out, I have often run into Clonakilty Black Pudding on menus. I have also seen many articles raving about it. But until I moved to Bandon, I honestly thought that it was a general description for all pudding from the town. In my overly florid imagination, I pictured Black Pudding shops on every street corner: “Tom’s Traditional Pud”, “Mary’s Home Made Pud”, “Gunters Organic Free Range Pud”. Hell, I even imagined street hawkers cooking it on black pud stalls.
It turns out, surprise surprise, that the reality is nothing like that. The Clonakilty Black pudding of world renown is Eddie Twomey from start to finish. You can find his butchers shop about half way up the main street in Clon and apart from the famous pud, they do everything a high quality butcher should.
I hope The Bandon Opinion won’t mind if paraphrase some bits from Diane Curtin’s article to give a short summary of Edward and what he achieved.
The butchers shop was owned by the Harringtons when Edward bought it. He found the old pudding recipe there and asked Paddy Allman who had made it for 44 years to make him some. Unfortunately Paddy died a few months after Edward had bought the butchers and the details of the recipe pretty much died with him.
So Edward decided to try to make it himself and basically used all of the old customers as his guinea pigs until they were happy that he had got it right. He then got permission from the Harringtons to use their name on the label - hence “Original Harrington’s Recipe” on every black pudding he sold.
Most stories would end there and a local butcher would have happily sold local pud to local people. Instead this mans fantastic energy and ambition meant that it became one of the most famous food products made on this island. I am honestly in awe of the man. From one tiny shop in Clon, he made a product which is known and loved everywhere by foodies and non-foodies alike.
I really think that he should be up there in the roll-call of Irish Food Legends. His story should give hope and motivation to anyone who is making a quality product of any sort on a small scale and dreams of bigger things.
[tags] black pudding, clonakilty, edward twomey, harringtons[/tags]