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A bloody affair

Blood pudding or blood sausages remains slightly outside the culinary mainstream. Yet all over the world they still have a strong following.

by: Ilze Dreyer | 16 Apr 2007

Blutwurst, black pudding or blood pudding are all names for blood sausage. It is made by cooking animal blood with a filler until it is thick enough to congeal when cooled. Blood from pigs, cattle, lamb's, goat's and sometimes horse is used. The fillers include wheat, bread, fat, barely and other meats.

Black pudding is also served in a full English breakfast in the United Kingdom and Ireland. In these countries you’ll also find white pudding made of pork meat, fat, suet, bread, and oatmeal. It Scotland fish and chips shops often sell red pudding. This consists of spicy pork meat and fat that is formed into the shape of a large sausage.

In Germany, blutwurst is made of fatty pork and bovine blood with barley. While in Rhineland they supposedly use horse meat while a variant, Zungenwurst, is made from blutwurst and picked pig’s tongue.

In neighbouring Belgium, bloedworst or beuling is sold as individual sausage almost the size of a banana. It is often cooked with apples or eaten with apple sauce, brown sugar or syrup.

In Spain the most well known blood sausage is the ‘morcilla de Burgos’ which contains pork blood, rice, pepper, onions and salt. Sometimes they replace the rice with bread crumbs or pine nuts.

Crossing the Baltic Sea into Sweden they take it one step further. Here you’ll find blood sausages served with blood pancakes. For blood pancakes, pig’s blood is stirred into the pancake batter and then baked into little pancakes. These pancakes supposedly had their origins in Finland. They use rye or oat flour in the batter with chopped onions.

In America it is a bit more difficult to find blood pudding. However they have an Italian-America version that you can find in San Francisco. It consists of pine nuts, raisins, spices, pig snouts and either pig's or cow's blood.

And while you might not find it in sausage form in Asia, the Taiwanese prefer blood cakes. In Taipei you get blood cakes that are made of pork blood and sticky rice. It is fried or steamed as a snack or cooked in a hot pot.

While it's big brother China serves blood tofu. It 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 dish, it has no casing but is simply cut into rectangular pieces and cooked.

Ilze Dreyer is the Content Manager on She has never used the word blood that many times in an article before


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