From pigs to ducks, the immortal macabre among us have made blood an innocuous presence in various cuisines.
As a source of sustenance, blood is naturally low in calories and high in protein, so it should be no surprise it’s enjoyed by both vampires and non-vampires alike.
Try these seven dishes – if you dare.
1. Black Pudding
Nothing says “inoffensive” like English food. While the Scots, Welsh, and Irish have a field day with animal offals, the English are so polite they call their blood sausage, “black pudding.”
While the color sounds uninviting, you feel like you’re in for a special treat, despite the main ingredients being pig’s blood and oatmeal.
Most countries lacking a pervasive fear of the dead boast some form of blood sausage, but the minimalism in black pudding’s spices is both inherently English and a bloodsucking red flag.
2. Blood Pancakes
You’re starting your day out wrong if you’re not substituting animal blood for egg whites. The two similarly viscous liquids serve as excellent binding agents, but Scandinavians developed a taste for these savory, sanguine versions of pancakes. Think about it: long winters, limited sunshine …
3. Larb Lanna
This Northern Thai salad takes the minced meat of the traditionally Laotian dish and swaps the sour seafood sauce for pig or chicken blood. The fatty cuts of meat give you more of a Hannibal Lecter vibe than any Dracula coolness, but the jury’s still out on whether or not it goes with a nice Chianti.
4. Thai Boat Noodles
Another Thai dish, boat noodles got their name from merchants who sold the soup from boats docked along Bangkok’s canals.
The soup is a healthy mix of savory, sweet and sour. It will often have a bit of a kick to it as well. Ingredients include pork and beef, along with pig’s liver, and an assortment of noodles and spices. But the finishing touch is cow or pig’s blood mixed with salt for additional seasoning.
This Polish soup is not for the faint of heart – or duck lovers. While there are some spices in the mix, the overwhelming majority of what you slurp down is a duck. The duck’s blood serves as a base for the broth, and the rest of the duck gets thrown in the pot too.
Thanks to the wonders of oxidation, the blood transforms into a stew-like brown color, so the only shock factor you’d get in your bowl would be a duck’s bill.
Dinuguan has the most charming of nicknames - chocolate meat, but after the first bite you’ll realize Hershey’s is notably absent.
Instead, this Filipino stew is a mix of offals, typically everything not meat – ear, snout, intestines, heart, kidneys – along with garlic, chili, and vinegar. To help it go down, it is traditionally served with a rice cake called puto.
7. Reign in Blood
Nandini Khaund, Chicago’s ballsiest cocktail slinger, created this drink after being challenged to use creatively pig’s blood in the Chicago Reader’s Cocktail Challenge.
Khaund tried drinking pig’s blood straight up but chose to let the blood take a backseat to a cacophony of sweet and bitter liqueurs, merely coating the serving glass with the oozing life force.
Considering the almost indescribable iron high she felt after drinking the blood on its own, Khaund either did us all a solid or keeps the extras for herself.