It’s one thing to taste the detestable iron of blood when you accidentally bite your tongue, but it sure is another to deliberately infuse the metallic taste into food to create a delicacy. Many cuisines utilize blood, a rather bizarre ingredient, to cook dishes dear to the culture. Here are five blood dishes whose unforgettable flavors will make eating blood seem not so crazy after all.
1. Soondae (South Korea)
Having animal blood incorporated into food is nothing unusual if you are of Asian descent. South Korea, like other Asian countries, enjoys blood in various shapes and forms, with soondae being its most popular blood dish. Unfortunately, this “sundae” doesn’t involve any frozen treats. Instead, it is served with glass noodles and glutinous rice mixed with pig blood, all stuffed into pig intestines. I’ll admit, the written explanation doesn’t nearly do its taste justice, so you may just have to give it a try to see what all the hype is about.
2. Blodplättar (Sweden and Finland)
The name of this dish sounds intense, but it just means blood pancakes. This dish seems quite ordinary until the recipe calls for a gallon of cow blood instead of milk. The fact that some prefer to have their pancakes with blood instead of maple syrup and bacon must be proof that the blood pancakes are worth a try.
3. Drisheen (Ireland)
There are puddings that taste like vanilla and then there are puddings that taste like iron and actually mean blood sausage. Drisheen is black pudding, or blood sausage, a common breakfast item in Ireland. Don’t be alarmed when you’re served baked sheep blood instead of a sweet dessert.
4. Sunjiguk (South Korea)
Blood has found its way into the world of hangover cuisine in South Korea. Sunjiguk is a type of haejangguk, which means hangover soup, that uses coagulated pig blood as its main ingredient. The pudding-like texture of blood cubes can scare away some, but their unique taste can surely make them come back.
5. Morcilla (Spain)
Blood sausages are rather common in the culinary world, and morcillas are Spain’s delicious take on them. Made with onion, garlic, rice, paprika, and other spices, the blood sausages are fried in olive oil and eaten with bread. If you’re a fan of Spanish tapas, morcilla fritas will be worth a try.
The use of animal blood comes from the idea of putting each and every part of the animal to good use, and many cuisines have perfected their blood dishes over the years. Many of these dishes have a whole new taste you do not want to miss out on — far from the metallic, iron flavor one might expect. Bizarre, indeed, but delicious, nonetheless.