For many years my father (born in Devon) was able to get supplies of this sublime product from his uncle, who used to visit relatives in Brixham and called at a butchers in Paignton to buy it before returning home to Lancashire. Then the butcher retired and we tried other butchers in Devon but none could match the flavour or consistency of the pudding that all our relatives in Brixham had enjoyed in their youth and latterly from that Paignton butcher.
Unfortunately my dear dad died just before I finally hit the jackpot. I just happened to be reading a website called Legendary Dartmoor http://www.legendarydartmoor.co.uk/ which suggested that Martins the butchers in Okehampton sold the best in Devon. So, when we visited North Devon a couple of years ago, we drove to Okehampton to buy some. It was well worth the drive and confirmed to me that it is indeed very likely to be the best in Devon.....it is gorgeous, with all the flavours that I can recall from eating breakfast, sitting as a little boy with my sister on a summer's morning in the early 50's on the back step of my Great Grandmother's bungalow overlooking Brixham church.
On our return home I immediately got in touch with Andy Martin who I think looks after all their mail orders and arranged to have supplies delivered. He is based at their Chagford shop, telephone 01647 432461 http://www.almartinandson.co.uk/ .
You are probably asking, "what the hell is hogs pudding?", in fact I have been staggered by the number of people, including residents of Devon, who don't know what it is, perhaps the 'locals' I've met are all 'incomers'. Essentially it is like a large fat sausage, perhaps around 6-7 inches long, it is sliced into pieces about 3/4" thick and then fried in a frying pan. The butchers who stock it use their own recipes, so each is different, but the best, "the proper job"and I quote from the Legendary Dartmoor website,"are made with meat and groats mixed together. The meat can come from two sources, the , 'pluck' or heart, lungs, liver etc., or pork meat and the mixture stuffed into an ox gut casing". If anything there is incorrect I'm sure my 'hogs pud chum' Andy will put me right....but there is one thing for sure, he will not be giving away any closely guarded secrets!
So there we are, get out and give it a try but do follow my advice and that of the Legendary Dartmoor website which I heartily recommend (in index look for 'hogs pudding'), there are many being sold that are a disgrace and more like 'bog standard' sausage than the real thing, so be warned.
My fresh supply arrives next week.......yippee!!!