Blood sausages are sausages filled with blood that are cooked or dried and mixed with a filler until they are thick enough to solidify when cooled. Variants are found worldwide. Pig, cattle, sheep, duck, and goat blood can be used, varying by country.
In Europe and the Americas, typical fillers include meat, fat, suet, bread, cornmeal, onion, chestnuts, barley, and oatmeal. In Spain, Portugal, and Asia, northern-climate cereals are often replaced by rice. In Kenya fillers include fresh minced goat or beef, fat, and red onions.
United Kingdom and Ireland
Black pudding is the native British version of blood sausage. It is generally made from pork blood and a relatively high proportion of oatmeal. In the past it was occasionally flavoured with pennyroyal, differing from continental European versions in its relatively limited range of ingredients and reliance on oatmeal and barley instead of onions to absorb the blood. It can be eaten cold, as it is cooked in production, grilled, fried or boiled in its skin. It is often served sliced and fried or grilled as part of a traditional full breakfast, a tradition that followed British and Irish emigrants around the world. Black pudding is now part of the local cuisine of New Zealand and the Canadian provinces of Nova Scotia and Newfoundland and Labrador.
The similar white pudding is a further important feature of the traditional Northumbrian, Scottish, Irish and Newfoundland breakfast. Black and white pudding, as well as a third variant, red pudding, is served battered in some chip shops in England, Scotland and Ireland as an alternative to fish and chips.
While "blood sausage" in English is understood in Britain, the term is applied only to foreign usage (e.g., in the story The Name-Day by Saki), or to similar blood-based sausages elsewhere in the world.
Germany and Austria
The most common variant of German Blutwurst is made from pork rind, pork blood and regionally different fillers such as barley. Though already cooked and "ready to eat" it is sometimes served warm, similar to the usage in France. In the Rhineland, where it is also traditionally made from horse meat, fried Blutwurst is a constituent of various dishes. In particular in Cologne, the traditional Himmel und Erde (Heaven and Earth) combines apple sauce, mashed potatoes and Blutwurst served hot on one plate. In Berlin, hot Blutwurst mixed together with liverwurst and potatoes is called "Tote Oma" ("Dead Grandma").
Other German variants are Zungenwurst, which is Blutwurst mixed with pieces of pickled ox tongue, and Beutelwurst which is pressed in a linen or paper bag (Beutel). A variety of Blutwurst, the Rotwurst from Thuringia (Thüringer Rotwurst) has geographical indication protection under EU law, with PGI status. Kartoffelwurst (potato sausage) is a post-World War II variety popular in the Palatinate, a reduced fat version of Blutwurst using potato cubes instead of bacon.
In France, boudin is traditionally prepared in charcuteries, shops that prepare mainly pork products (and sometimes duck and game), but also sell smoked and dried sausages, pâtés, and terrines, along with prepared salads. It is usually called boudin noir and is often made with cream with apples or onions as a filler. It is generally served with either cooked apples, mashed potatoes or both, and is appreciated by combining either the apples or mashed potatoes with each bite of boudin, which has been gently heated and browned in butter. In France also, there are many regional different Boudins Noirs such as the large Boudin du Béarn with pork meat pieces eaten usually cold. The French Confrérie des Chevaliers du Goûte-Boudin (Brotherhood of the Knights of Blood Sausage Tasting) in Mortagne-au-Perche in southern Normandy holds an annual contest of international blood sausage specialities. Boudin is considered the emblematic staple of the French Foreign Legion, and gives its name to the Legion's anthem.
Belgium, Netherlands and Luxembourg
In Belgium and the Netherlands, bloedworst or beuling is sold either in 4-inch-diameter (100 mm) slices, or individual sausages the size of a banana. It is generally pan fried; sometimes apples are cooked alongside or on top of the pieces. It is also eaten with apple sauce, brown sugar, syrup or red cabbage. As a cold cut, thin slices are eaten as a sandwich topping. Green cabbage is one of the ingredients in Luxembourg's träipen which are also served pan fried with apple sauce. It is known to have been eaten in church in the Middle Ages during carnival in the Netherlands.
In Italy, regional varieties of blood sausage are known as 'sanguinaccio'. In Tuscany, buristo is a sausage made with pig's blood and fat cooked in a pig's stomach. It is not reheated and is often spread on bread. It is found only in the south of Tuscany in the winter months and even there it can be difficult to come by. Biroldo is another type of black pudding which can be found in Tuscany, while the version made in southern Lombardy is called Marsapan.
Migliaccio is a black pudding that was traditionally prepared in winter in Romagna. It is a sweet pudding with a thick black filling made with pig's blood, sugar, breadcrumbs, almonds, chocolate, butter and spices contained in a thin pastry crust. A similar pudding is made throughout southern Italy, generally called Sanguinaccio.
In Portuguese cuisine, there are many varieties of blood sausage. Sausages made of blood are usually called morcela or negrinha (a slang term from Portuguese negro meaning dark or black). There are many varieties around the Portuguese world. There are varieties local to Portugal, the Azores, Hawaii, China, US and India, etc.
Spanish morcilla has many variants. The most well-known and widespread is morcilla de Burgos which contains mainly pork blood and fat, rice, onions, and salt, and is produced in two varieties: cylindrical and gut-shaped. In Albacete and La Mancha, the morcilla is filled with onions instead of rice, which completely changes the texture. In Extremadura the creamy morcilla patatera includes roughly mashed potatoes. In the northern regions and the Canary Islands there is a sweet variety known as morcilla dulce. Other varieties introduce breadcrumbs, pine nuts, and almonds, and vary the proportions of the other ingredients or flavourings, some of them considered delicacies.
There are other similarly famous kinds being made at Asturias (slightly darker and smaller, used for bean and chickpea stews) and León (no-rice grilled & spread on toasted bread). Other less popular varieties may add cumin to the pudding mixture, but this is not a standard practice. The cooking method for consumption is typically done fried, stewed, grilled or roasted, and usually sliced in one-finger-thick wheelettes ("rodajas"). There are many derivative foods made from morcilla, such as omelettes, stuffed red pepper, puff pastry, pizza, flavoured nachos and a range of fillings for different dishes.
Alongside the mustamakkara (black sausage) in Finland, a dish similar to the British black pudding is made by making batter out of pig's blood and baking it like pancakes. Traditionally, rye flour or oatmeal is used and minced onion is added to the mix. This dish is called veriohukainen or verilettu (blood pancake). Rössypottu is a traditional soup in northern Finland with blood pudding as a main ingredient.
In Estonia, verivorst (blood sausage) is very similar to Finnish mustamakkara. It is sold and eaten mostly in winter, being a traditional Christmas food. At that time there is a large variety of verivorst in stores, ranging in different shapes and sizes. Verivorst is usually cooked in an oven, but sometimes also fried in a pan. Like in Finland, mustamakkara is often eaten together with lingonberry jam, but occasionally also with butter or sour cream. Another similar dish is called verikäkk (blood dumpling). Its popularity has decreased during the past decades (possibly because of its less appealing commercial appearance) and has mostly been substituted by verivorst.
In Iceland, blóðmör is one of two types of slátur. It is made from lamb's blood and suet, rye flour and oats, traditionally stuffed into pouches sewn from the lamb's stomach. It is usually boiled in its skin, eaten hot or cold, sometimes sliced and fried. After cooking, it is often preserved in fermented whey and acquires a distinct sour taste.
Blodpudding is a traditional medieval dish still popular in Sweden. The exact proportions and ingredients vary, partly according to regional preference, but generally it is made from pig's blood, milk, rye or barley flour, diced lard, either beer or svagdricka, treacle and onion, flavoured with allspice and marjoram. It is then poured into forms and oven-baked in a waterbath. Most of the blodpudding consumed today is made on industrial basis.
When prepared for serving, it is sliced and fried. The style of serving and accompaniments vary across the country, and it is not uncommon to have the blodpudding act as the meat in a meal. Nationally, the common way is to serve it with lingonberry jam, grated carrots and ice cold milk to drink. Fried bacon or porkside is also common. In Scania, the lingonberry jam is often replaced by finely sliced apples, fried along with the pork.
Other blood-based foods include blodkorv (blood sausage) which differs from blodpudding by having raisins, pork tallow and apple sauce in it, blodplättar (blood pancakes, similar to the original Finnish dish veriohukainen above) and blodpalt. There is also a soup made from blood, called svartsoppa (black soup).
In Denmark, blodpølse is made from pigs's blood and suet, rye flour, brown sugar, raisins, salt, cinnamon and cardamom stuffed into natural or artificial intestines. It is usually boiled in its skin, eaten hot or cold, sometimes sliced and fried, served with syrup, cinnamon and stewed apples.
Central and Eastern Europe
Throughout Central and Eastern Europe, blood sausage, known as kishka (meaning "intestine"), is made with pig's blood and buckwheat kasha. It is also known in Russia as krovyanka (кровянка), or krovyanaya kolbasa (кровяная колбаса, literally "blood sausage"), and include buckwheat as a main filler, instead of oats or oatmeal. In Ukraine it's called krov'yanka (кров'янка) or kryvava kyshka (кривава кишка), kiszka or kaszanka in Poland, krvavnička in Slovakia and krupniok in Silesia. Polish salceson ("black" and "Brunszwicki") are a type of head cheese that contains blood. In Hungary, véres hurka is made with rice, pig's blood and pork. In Bulgaria, karvavitsa (кървавица) is usually prepared with pig's blood, fat and a variety of mountain herbs and spices and eaten warm during the winter. A similar blood sausage, called krvavica (крвавица), made out of similar ingredients, is also eaten in Bosnia, Croatia, Serbia, and Slovenia during winter time, usually with sauerkraut and cooked potatoes.
In Romania, the traditional sângerete (from sânge, "blood" in Romanian) is made from shoulder butt pork meat, pork blood and a filler such as pre-boiled rice seasoned with pepper, garlic and basil. It has many regional variants, but the most common are the sângerete from Transylvania.
Other varieties of blood sausage include blodpølse (Norway and Denmark), tongenworst (with added pigs tongues) (Netherlands), mazzit (Malta), krvavica (Balkans), krovianka (Russia and Ukraine), vėdarai (Lithuania).
Blood sausages are very difficult to find in US supermarkets. Brussels, Wisconsin and Sturgeon Bay are all home to local grocers who produce blood sausage, due to their large Belgian American populations. Supermarkets throughout Maine also carry locally produced blood pudding due to the state's large French Canadian population. In southeastern Michigan, Polish-style Kaszanka can be found in supermarkets throughout the year and is very popular.
Cajun boudin is a fresh sausage made with green onions, pork, pork liver (making it somewhat gritty/grainy), and rice. Pig's blood was sometimes added to produce boudin rouge, but this tradition became increasingly rare after the mid-twentieth century due to the decline of the boucherie (traditional communal butchering) and government health regulations prohibiting the transportation of raw blood. As a result, Cajun boudin is now usually made without blood; however, blood or "black" boudin can still be purchased.
In many areas of Latin America, morcilla is served. Morcilla is sometimes made with a filler of rice and/or onions, and seasoned with paprika and other spices. In Puerto Rico, it is served fried and mostly consumed during the holidays. In some countries of South America, morcilla is a component of the asado, a regional mixed grill or barbecue meal. In Colombia, morcilla can have rice, green peas, cilantro or culantro, and is often eaten as an appetizer called "picada" or with the traditional dishes "Bandeja Paisa" or "Fritanga". In Venezuela, morcilla is often served with parrilla (barbecue). Morcilla is also eaten inside a sandwich called "morcipán," especially in the Río de la Plata. In Uruguay, a sweet version including raisins and pine nuts is popular, some vendors even add chocolate, caramelised orange peels, peanuts, and other dried fruits. Uruguayans usually are fond of sweet or salty morcilla, and most restaurants and supermarkets carry both versions.
In The Yucatan Peninsula, morcilla is made exclusively from pig's blood and once deep fried it's served with a mix of pickled onions, cilantro and spices. It's always consumed in the form of Tacos and paired with fresh Habanero Peppers.
In Central Mexico, morcilla is known as Moronga.
In Brazil there is a version of the blood sausage called Chouriço, Morcilla or Morcela, consisting of a sausage made of the blood and fat from pork. It is a variation of the Portuguese blood sausage, and it is known for its deep dark color. It is very popular on barbecues (Churrascos) as a starter.
In Chile, the blood sausage is called "prieta" (a synonym of "negra", black) and tends to have a very thick skin, so is eaten cut open lengthwise. Apart from blood and a little fat, "prietas" may contain a variety of ingredients, such as chopped onion and spices, cabbage, peppers, watercress, rice, meat or even dried fruit or nuts. "Prietas" or "morcillas" are part of the Chilote tradition of "reitimiento" involving the slaughter and preparation of a pig.
Ecuador and Colombia
In Ecuador the blood sausage is also called morcilla, while in Panama and Colombia, it is called morcilla, rellena or tubería negra, and is usually filled with rice. In Brazil, as in Portugal, morcela and chouriço de sangue are eaten. In El Salvador, Nicaragua and Mexico, it is called "moronga".
In Antigua, rice pudding is a local delicacy and it is prepared the same way as blood sausage.
In Barbados, blood sausage is made with sweet potato (batata), pig's blood and onions, seasoned with peppers and other herbs and stuffed in pig intestines. It is normally served with souse, which is pickled pig's feet, pig's ears and other trimmings. The cooked meat is cut into bite-sized pieces and soaked in a brine made of water, lime juice, cucumbers, hot pepper, and specially prepared seasonings. Blood sausage and souse is a Bajan delicacy usually prepared on weekends and special occasions.
In the French Antilles, boudin créole is very popular, this being the French boudin noir with local Caribbean chilli and other spices.
In Guyana, blood sausage is a very popular snack served at social occasions, and as "cutters" when drinking. The main ingredient is cooked rice seasoned with herbs, such as thyme and basil. The rice is mixed with cow's blood, stuffed into cow's or pig's intestine, and boiled until firm, sliced and served with Sour (a mild type of dipping sauce with hot peppers). White pudding is also made.
In Puerto Rico, blood sausage is known as morcilla. Puerto Rican blood sausage is made with rice, culantro, cilantro, garlic and chillies. Some contain paprika and annatto. Morcilla is especially popular during Christmas.
In Trinidad & Tobago, the local style of blood sausage is heavily seasoned with local peppers and traditionally prepared from pig's blood, often substituted by pig's liver today. It is sold by local producers as a popular accompaniment to rolls of crusty hops bread or served as an accompaniment to trotter souse, a stew based on trotters.
Across Asia, various people create food from congealed animal blood. Most of these food types do not have casing and might be considered a version of sliced sausage.
In the Chinese cuisines, whole coagulated blood is fried or steamed as a snack or cooked in a hot pot. In mainland China, "blood tofu" (Chinese: 血豆腐; pinyin: xuě dòufǔ), or "red tofu" (Chinese: 红豆腐; pinyin: hóng dòufǔ), is most often made with pig's or duck's blood, although chicken's or cow's blood may also be used. Like the above dishes, this has no casing but is simply cut into rectangular pieces and cooked. In the Northeast China, the "blood sausage" is a traditional food which is cooked with sheep or goat blood. In resource-poor Tibet, congealed yak's blood is a traditional food.
In Hong Kong, the dish closest to Blood sausage is Pig blood curd, which is only made from pig's blood and is not considered a sausage.
In Taiwan, "pig's blood cake" (Chinese: 豬血糕; pinyin: zhū xuě gāo; Zhuyin Fuhao: ㄓㄨˉ ㄒㄧㄝˇ ㄍㄠˉ) or "rice blood cake"(Chinese: 米血糕; Zhuyin Fuhao: ㄇㄧˇ ㄒㄧㄝˇ ㄍㄠˉ), made of pork blood and sticky rice is served on a popsicle stick is a very popular snack at local night markets in Taiwan.
In Penang or other northern states, pig blood curd (known locally in Penang Hokkien as "too huet"; Chinese: 猪血; pinyin: zhū xuè; literally: "pig's blood") is usually served with the local street delicacy Curry Mee (curry noodles). It can also be mixed with some traditional Hokkien dishes as well.
In Tibetan cuisine, sausages or gyurma refer to blood sausages and are made with yak or sheep's blood which may or may not include either rice or roasted barley flour as filler. The sausage uses natural casing employing the use of yak or sheep's intestine.
Pinuneg is a native blood sausage composed of minced pork and innards that is prepared in the Cordillera Administrative Region of the Philippines.
This dish, dinuguan, is also known in Java as saren, which is made with chicken's or pig's blood.
Vietnamese 'dồi tiết' (Northern) or 'dồi huyết' (Southern) is blood sausage, boiled or fried, made with pork blood, pork fat and basil.
In Thai cuisine sai krok lueat (Thai: ไส้กรอกเลือด) is a blood sausage (Thai: sai krok = sausage, Thai: lueat = blood), often served sliced and accompanied by a spicy dipping sauce. "Blood tofu" is simply called lueat (Thai: เลือด, blood) in Thailand. This can be used in many Thai dishes such as in noodle soups, Thai curries, or as an addition to certain rice dishes such as Khao man kai.
The majority of Korea's sundae (순대) can be categorised as blood sausage. The most common type of soondae is made of sweet potato noodle (dangmyeon), barley, and pig's blood but some variants contain sesame leaves, green onion, fermented soy paste (doenjang), sweet rice, kimchi, bean sprouts, in addition to the common ingredients. The addition of sweet potato noodle is a more modern addition to the dish.
In Kenya Mutura is a traditional dish among the people of central Kenya, although today popular among all. It is made with meat, blood, spices all encased in the animal's intestines or stomach.
The slaughtered goat, cow or sheep has its blood collected to use in the stuffing, though today many types of mutura, especially commercial ones sold on the streets do not contain blood. The meat for the filling can be any fleshy part, but like any other sausage, the prime cuts are not ordinarily used for the stuffing. Instead the tougher, leaner cuts for example the neck are trimmed off the bone. The casing for the stuffing is the stomach sack and larger intestines. These are flushed many times with water to clean them.
The meat for the stuffing is finely chopped or minced, and the mandatory fat is often trimmed from other parts. The meat is slightly fried, mixed with finely chopped red onions, salt and optionally fresh chili. Other additions include freshly chopped coriander (dhania or cilantro), garlic, pepper and even beef stock. This is then mixed thoroughly with the fresh blood from the animal, and stuffed into the stomach and intestines, with the openings sewn or tied together with string.
The sausage is boiled in large pot (often with other parts of the animal not roasted and used to make soup) for 30 – 45 minutes, and roasted over coals till brown. Sliced, it is served with kachumbari, an onion based salad consisting of tomatoes, red onions and fresh coriander, a bit of chili and squeeze of lemon. The accompanying starch is ugali.
- Jaine, T. and Davidson, A. The Oxford companion to food, OUP, 2006, p.104
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- Mutura – The traditional Kenyan sausage by Village Talk accessed on 1 May 2014
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Black pudding.|
- The Black Pudding. A history and guide by The English Breakfast Society.
- Black pudding recipe from uktv food