A very classic, easy, gingerbread recipe that simply substitutes the eggs with pig’s blood. Fast to make and delicious, it’s a good way to spice a little your Christmas Eve dinner. The blood gives the cookies a beautiful dark color and a subtle animal tinge.
Sanguinaccio Dolce is a traditional Italian dessert from Naples, usually served during the festivities of Carnevale. This rich, dulcet pudding is customarily made from pig’s blood, milk, chocolate, and sweetened with a bit of sugar, though other ingredients occasionally appear, such as dried fruit and nuts.
It is quite different in that it does not use raw blood as a base, but blood sausage stuffing, or blood pudding. (that you purchased or made yourself, we’ll be posting a recipe for blood sausage soon.)
In any case, this was quite a find. This terrine is wonderfully creamy, while firm, and packed full of flavor. It makes a wonderful breakfast or a lovely appetizer.
Putting blood in bread isn’t something new, both Sweden and Finland keep that tradition alive with the traditional rye blood bread (verileipä in Finland), which is even generally available commercially.
What I am proposing here is slightly different. It’s a recipe with lower blood content, for very versatile, airy and moderately sweet pig’s blood brioche buns, (as opposed to rather dense, blood packed rye bread), that can be enjoyed on their own, toasted with a little salted butter, in soups, or even as burger buns.
This is a recipe I have a attempted a couple of times with various levels of success.
The plus : It is deliciously bloody! Half this recipe is simply fresh blood. It is also quite easy to put together.
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Surprisingly, this sweet treat, and not the classic savory black pudding, is the very first blood-based dish I made, and it remains a favorite of mine. It is surprisingly complex and flavorful with a strong cinnamon hit.
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Blood as food? I think it’s safe to assume that most wouldn’t consider such a statement an even remotely pleasant idea. People are, in general, deeply squeamish about the thought of blood itself, never mind actually coming in contact with or consuming the conspicuous liquid. While there are certainly natural motivating factors behind being reluctant about or repelled by blood, the most pervasive culprit for this inclination has a lot to do with shifting cultural biases & trends.
In many parts of the world, blood is still widely consumed on a regular basis & inherently worked into the ritual of slaughter itself. Not only does it provide an important nutritional role within the diet, it also makes up a good portion of the total yield of an animal. There can be forty liters of blood in one cow alone, just to bring things into perspective. Wasting such a large portion of an animal is not only ridiculous, but simply out of the question for a good number of people. Many can’t afford to be so far removed from their food, or to cherry-pick what parts they’d prefer to utilize for their meals. Necessity aside, however, nose to tail eating is actually a more reasonable & sustainable practice to be mindful of.
Beloved in one culture, abhorred in another, blood makes for a fascinating, if polarizing ingredient. Though I find its dubiousness to be questionable if handled with care, it does have a high rate of spoilage, a huge mess factor, & reacts quite finicky when introduced to heat. Still, it can be a beautifully versatile ingredient, as long as it’s basic nature is kept in mind. Blood is traditionally used as a thickener in sauces, a binder in sausages & terrines, a minerally pungent kick to both savory and sweet dishes alike. If the metallic twang sounds off putting, try pairing it with spices, cream, fruits, even chocolate.
For as long as humans and their ancestors have hunted animals & eaten meat, they’ve utilized blood for both comestible means & basic nutritional needs. Although it’s fallen out of fashion in recent times, evidence of blood usage in culinary applications can still be found by those who are willing, curious, & open-minded enough to dig a bit deeper & entertain new possibilities. In this section, we at The Red Cellar will attempt to celebrate this grossly overlooked and underutilized ingredient &, with luck, perhaps ease some of the stigma it seems to carry.