A friend of mine once opined that there is no such thing as an average black pudding. True enough, once the blood and guts are poached, it’s a sublime and magnificent sausage that would take an act of rank foolishness or carelessness like overcooking to ruin but thoroughly ruined it will be.

We were sat in Lou Lou’s, a pleasant continental-style café on one of Portsmouth’s posher thoroughfares with somewhat optimistic outdoor seating, art for sale on the walls and a Waitrose opposite. It was a Sunday morning following a birthday bash and our group required some hardcore lard. While full Englishes and massive omelettes were ordered, I scanned the menu and my eyes settled on the magic words. Easiest decision ever.

My friend chose this point to explain his Grand Unified Theory of Black Pudding, possibly to insert a little drama into our breakfast. After all, we’d never been here before. Would they get it right and remember that the key word is ‘pudding’ or would I just be presented with a miserable blackened lump of coking lard? An entire Sunday was at stake here. However, within a few minutes, our hungover eyes lit up at the arrival of a vast platter piled high with toast. Fears of a charred sausage subsided cos this was a place that clearly knew what it was doing.

Breakfasts duly arrived. In middle of the plate amid the bacon, egg, mushrooms and tomatoes was a lovely generous slice of pud from a really thick sausage. Perfectly soft as I sliced a chunk away, it proved deliciously meaty, sweet and velvety. Hangovers faded and Sunday was saved. The omelettes were gorgeous too but that’s a whole other theory.

Pumpkin Publog