Oh my, all this talk about Twilight Saga and Breaking Dawn and vampires has me craving something unusual: BLOOD. Bwa bwa bwa! Okay, not really. But did you know you can actually cook with blood? Eating blood: It's not just for vampires! It's been a culinary mainstay all over the world for as long as there have been humans. Or as you'd say it in Twilight-speak: Eating blood has been a "thing" for, like, forever.
So check out these blood specialities -- including a few recipes. Just in case ... you know. Good luck actually locating fresh blood. From a quick search, it looks like the sale of pig's blood and/or duck's blood isn't necessarily banned everywhere in the U.S., but it's not exactly easy to find without a farmer friend or a willing butcher. I hear you can find it at Asian markets.
Polish Czarnina (duck blood) soup is made with spices, dried fruits, vinegar, and more or less the whole duck including its blood. It's bill-to-flipper eating! Here's a Czarnina recipe in case you're curious.
Blodplattar are blood pancakes made in Nordic countries like Sweden and Finland. They're savory but made with molasses, and you eat them with lingonberry jam, of course. I'm surprised they're not served during the pre-holiday shopping season at IKEA! Here's a recipe for blodplattar.
Pig's Blood Sundae is on the menu at Washington, D.C., restaurant The Pig. Apparently it uses a chocolate ice cream made with blood instead of egg yolks. I hear it mostly tastes of chocolate ...
Your placenta is another way to eat some blood. We've written about placenta eating a few times already here on The Stir. It's a fave.
Pig's blood cake is a Taiwanese specialty that -- contrary to rumor -- is legal throughout the U.S. Here's how it's made according to Serious Eats: "sticky rice gets drenched in pig's blood, steamed, bathed in a pork soy broth (which is subtly sweet), rolled around in peanut flour, and topped with cilantro."
Blood sausage, also known as black pudding, is a sausage made with blood and any number of other ingredients like meat or cornmeal. (Not to be confused with haggis, which is Scottish sausage made with lamb heart, liver, and lungs.) If you cook the blood long enough, it will coagulate when it cools. Blood sausage is made all over the world. In Spain it's called morcilla, in France it's boudin nor, and China it's xue doufou. Here's an English black pudding recipe straight from merry olde England.
Black Pudding via Good Food Channel
1 litre blood of wild boar oxtail
300 g fat wild boar, cubed
1.5 large onions, diced
300 g oatmeal, soaked
1 tbsp paprika
1 tbsp butter
1. Heat the butter in a pan and cook the onions until soft but not browned.
2. Mix the onions with the cubed fat and oatmeal. Mix well and season with salt, pepper, and paprika.
3. Add the blood and mix well with your hands to ensure a sloppy consistency. Leave to cool.
4. Pipe the mixture into the ox casings. At regular intervals tie the bag off to make individual sausage-shaped black puddings. Prick each pudding to ensure it doesn't split whilst being cooked.
5. Heat a large pan of water to 80C and add the black puddings. Cook for about 10 minutes; it is vital that you continually move them around while cooking.
6. Remove from the pan and leave to cool.
Have you ever tried blood pudding or any other foods made with blood?
Image via Roberto Verzo/Flickr