AN overcooked English cuisine set off alarm bells for the CFA after a seemingly harmless wager on the Matildas Women’s World Cup Semi-Final caused the ABC’s Sale office to go up in smoke.

It all started when ABC Gippsland Breakfast radio host Mim Hook had made an ill-fated bet with Entertainment Gippsland co-owner and Paynesville resident Simon Ellis, who is originally from England.

If England beat Australia in the Women’s World Cup semi-final, Mr Ellis, who is a soccer referee and coaches East Gippsland United Football Club, would have to eat a spoonful of Vegemite live on air.

“That’s the most foul and disgusting thing I’ve ever tried,” Mr Ellis recalled of the first time he was given a spoonful of Vegemite over 20 years ago.

He now knows you shouldn’t eat a huge amount as if it’s Nutella, but he still wasn’t keen on revisiting it, even on toast.

But what would Ms Hook have to do?

“If England win, I will try some terrible British food,” she said.

Mr Ellis suggested black pudding, a blood sausage from the United Kingdom and Ireland. Just like with Vegemite, you either love it or hate it.

“It’s a real good British delicacy,” Mr Ellis said, clearly a fan.

Simon Ellis at Stadium Australia in Sydney on Sunday supporting England for the FIFA Women’s World Cup final. Photo: Contributed.

Millions of Australians sadly saw the Matildas lose to the Lionesses on Wednesday night, so Ms Hook picked up some black pudding from Padula’s Delicatessen on Raymond St in Sale for her Thursday morning show.

“I’m not a good cook; it’s no secret,” Ms Hook said.

“I got out an electric frying pan and turned it up to the (highest heat) and just whacked it on there. I just thought that’s what you did.”

A short time later, Sale CFA volunteer Doug Brack was riding his bike when he got the call that ABC Gippsland on York St was up in smoke.

Sale Fire Brigade were called on the ABC’s York St office after a bet had gone wrong.
Photo: ABC Gippsland

The Sale Fire Brigade arrived, and everything was fine, but Ms Hook still had a radio show to do.

“Huge apologies,” Ms Hook said on her live segment, speaking to Mr Brack.

Mr Brack didn’t expect to be on radio that morning.

“You’ll need strong teeth to eat that black pudding,” Mr Brack said after one look at the burnt breakfast.

“It triggered the Longford Brigade and also Maffra. The most important thing is that it was just black pudding, and it wasn’t a fire.”

OOPS – ABC Gippsland declared safe, just as the AM program ended.

Mr Brack had a great sense of humour about it.

“Next time you cook breakfast, just give us a warning.”

However, he declined to eat the burnt black pudding, but Ms Hook honoured the bet and took a bite. She tried very hard not to spit it out and mixed it with water.

Verdict on charcoal pudding: not good.

In the aftermath, Ms Hook learned a valuable lesson.

“It doesn’t take long to cook black pudding. Just a sizzle,” she said.

Theresa Wright is the owner and manager of Padula’s Delicatessen, where the black pudding was sourced from, and she defended the blood sausage.

“It’s quite popular in a lot of cultures…in the UK, Ireland. The Spanish have their own version of it, and the Chinese have it as well,” Ms Wright said.

Padula’s Delicatessen on Raymond St in Sale has two black pudding options available. Photo: Stefan Bradley.

Ms Wright, from South Africa, isn’t a fan of Vegemite herself and would rather go for black pudding.

“If you don’t like black pudding, you can use a normal sausage for breakfast, but nothing compares to black pudding in terms of texture and flavour,” she said.

“Black pudding usually finds its home in a full English breakfast. Just lightly pan-fried until you’ve crisped the edges.

“It goes beautifully with caramelised apple or a side with Yorkies…you can use it crumbled over oysters.

Padula’s Delicatessen owner Theresa Wright with her two black pudding options.

“It’s a delicious flavour accent and there’s many things you can do with it.”

Still not convinced?

“Give black pudding a try. Just don’t carbonise it,” Ms Wright laughed.

Ms Hook will have to return to Padula’s and give black pudding another go – or perhaps go with their popular Grandmothers ham or local cheese instead.

She will also be making a personal donation to Sale Fire Brigade after being impressed with how quickly they responded – and to apologise for the trouble.

It’s hard to determine what was worse – smoking out the ABC or burning a delicious British cuisine.

The answer is, of course, the Matildas losing the semi-final. But for Mr Ellis, it was the English team who got burned over the weekend.