Eating blood, blood dishes, blood was considered a cure for diseases, an anti-aging agent and an analogue of modern Viagra. Extreme cuisine.

“Do not eat flesh with her soul, with her blood” – I read these words in my youth in the first book of the Old Testament – the Book of Genesis. Blood is interpreted as the soul or life itself in many religious texts, including the holy book of the Muslims of the Qur’an, which makes it a forbidden product, forcing butchers to bleed the carcasses of animals. And many chefs – carefully remove its remains from the meat by soaking in cold water and salting. 

Eating blood, blood dishes, blood was considered a cure for diseases, an anti-aging agent and an analogue of modern Viagra. Extreme cuisine.

The ruling Romanian king Vlad Dracul, who is also Vlad the Piercer, who ruled in the 17th century, also played a role in this “bloody” story. Known to fans of Bram Stoker’s art as Count Dracula. By the time of my childhood, vampires had been popular characters in horror books and horror films for more than a century, and later on Anna Rye’s novels and numerous high-budget Hollywood paintings.

dishes or added it to stews and soups. Black pudding and black pudding along with haggis have acquired the unofficial status of Scotland’s culinary business card. Lady Grizzle Bailey’s Book of Housekeeping says that back in the 16th century there was a dish called “Scottish Collips with Bone Marrow and Black Pudding”. Another author of the same era, describing one of the judges of the Supreme Civil Court of Scotland, notes that “with the help of black pudding, a decent toast with anchovies and a considerable amount of good claret, his lordship successfully survived his domestic problems”.

Even today, the Scots rarely refuse this to themselves, and sometimes the dish they bake includes up to three liters of blood mixed with grapes, sugar, various nuts and chestnuts (ground), rice, oranges (together with the peel) and figs. According to other recipes, 250 grams of milk, 450 grams of lard or pork fat, a large handful of oatmeal, a lot of chopped onions, pepper and salt are added to a liter of pork or bovine blood. The washed intestine is filled with all this, which is tied at both ends and then either prepared in the usual way or suspended for later use..

The same is true throughout Europe. In Poland, blood soup is called blackberry. In Hungary, to prepare a blood fry, chopped onion is first fried in fat, pieces of coagulated goose, duck or pork blood and seasoning with salt and paprika are added to it; served with boiled potatoes and salad. Germany is famous for its blubwurst, a blood sausage made from pork blood, pork or veal tongue and diced bacon, seasoned with cloves, nutmeg and marjoram.

In Asia, blood is valued both as a tonic and as a healthy and wholesome food. The northeastern region of Thailand – Isai is famous for many unusual dishes. Including noodles with beef mixed with fresh cow blood. Cooking curry, fish bubble soups and barbecue from lean ribs, isan cooks use pork blood. In the jungles of Northern Thailand, elephant trainers sometimes start the day with a glass of wild boar blood, which has begun to coagulate since yesterday’s hunt..

At a Sunday bazaar in a mountainous region in northern Vietnam, near the border with China, I saw how we mixed pork, cow and dog blood, how this mixture was poured into boiling water, then clotted blood was extracted and, after cooling, it was cut into two-centimeter cubes, which are made with rice offered hungry buyers. At first, I was puzzled that the red-brown cubes, similar to tofu cubes, were crunchy. The dish, of course, was extremely oily and nutritious, and it tasted like aspic from an offal.

Now about blood lovers in the United States. I confess that I have only a few newspaper articles with headlines such as “Interview with the Vampire” that appeared after a book published in 1996 by two Texas journalists called “There is Something in It”. The authors claim that at that time in the United States there were about 8 thousand “vampires” who regularly drank blood, including, if available, human. One of these “vampires,” a 38-year-old security guard from El Paso, Texas, named Sain Presley, told the authors that she drinks up to half a liter of blood two to three times a week and that she acquired this habit in childhood when she sucked cuts and abrasions on the knees of friends. “I love blood,” she said in an interview with the Los Angeles Times. “I just can’t live without her, and when I drink, I feel great pleasure, feeling as if I’m coming home”.

Where is Mrs. Presley taking blood? No, not in a nearby blood bank. According to her, she still often uses the services of friends, which allow her to pierce her skin with a needle on the inner surface of her hand or cut it with a blade. Then the woman carefully sucks the blood. Presley says that she rarely had problems with “donors.” Although sometimes you have to be content with cow blood, which she takes in her butcher shop. Of course, there is a risk. Hepatitis B and AIDS are transmitted with blood (because Presley drinks it only with friends).

It is worth spreading the rumor that you are drinking human blood, and the attitude towards you will surely change. People will not want, for example, to see you next to their children. One Texas blood lover said she received threats promising to drive an aspen stake into her heart, that some were asking if she was sleeping in a coffin. Perhaps enough. It is clear that the journalists who wrote about Mrs. Presley and the other 8 thousand “vampires” decided to take advantage of the interest of part of the public in this topic..

Ordinary hoax? Vampires are in no hurry to find themselves. So Mrs. Presley could not be found. Be that as it may, the inclusion of blood (cow) in the human diet is the subject of serious research in Brazil. Where an experimental nutritional supplement called Protemol is seen as a possible way to combat the global problem of malnutrition. In 1996, in areas where neither the government nor humanitarian organizations were able to provide reliable food sources, Brazilian nutritionists began distributing flour-like, yellow, odorless powder made from plasma, dried egg white, vitamin A, and flour. Powder is soluble in food or in sweetened beverages..

“Our children needed proteins containing essential amino acids that the human body does not produce, but which it needs for development and growth,” says Dr. Naid Theodosio, professor of psychology at Perambuco Federal University. “We had them full, free, and we just threw them away”.

Recipe Blood with milk (based on the Masai recipe).

1.5 liters of cow blood.
1 small onion, finely chopped (if desired).
Salt and pepper to taste.
250 g milk.
120 g butter.

Remove clots from liquid blood. In butter, fry the onion until browned, add a mixture of blood and milk and cook over low heat, stirring occasionally so as not to burn. If the mixture becomes too thick (say thicker than mushroom soup), add more milk. Add the remaining oil, salt and pepper, cover and simmer for 10-12 minutes. Serve hot in rice or in a bread dipping bowl.

Based on the book Extreme Cuisine.
Jerry Hopkins.

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