Black pudding, blood pudding or blood sausage: Whatever you call it, it's bloody and the rest of the world thinks it's crazy tasty. Usually in the form of a coagulated animal-juice filled sausage, its exact origins are up for debate. Rumored to have been invented by some ancient Greek chef around the first centuries AD, these things are nothing like the Oscar Myers you're used to.
Open wide and broaden your carnivorous horizons with our guide to world's gnarliest forms of wounded culinary coagulation.
Black pudding goes with a typical full English breakfast like a couple of ibuprofen might go with yours. Pork-intestine lined and stuffed with a whole bunch of oatmeal to soak up the congealed pig blood, it's about as British as having a jolly good shag before your afternoon tea.
German bratwurst's bloody cousin, blutwurst, is usually made with pork blood and fillers like barley. Some regions embrace the nasty and even go grosser by swapping pork for horsemeat or pickled ox tongue. To warm up to the idea, try it with Himmel und Erde, or Heaven on Earth, a plate of applesauce, fried onions, mashed potatoes and blutwurst. Bloodiness is next to godliness.
Spaniards are passionate about soccer and siestas, yes, but they're equally pumped about pig. When they're not inhaling a leg of jamón, chances are they're eating a dish mixed with dark chunks of rice- and blood-filled morcilla. Try it alone, on top of French fries with a fried egg or in stews with chorizo and other leftover pork parts you never considered edible.
The Belgians and Dutch will get you all hot and bothered with their girthy four-inch diameter variation of what they call bloedworst. Eat it with apples and brown sugar, or at lunch slap it on some bread as a sandwich. If that fatty version is feeling too PG, get some tongue up in your business with the more beefy and adventurous tongenworst.
Along with Catholicism, a language and some whack diseases, Spaniards left a little morcilla in Latin America. If you've got a hankering for sweet sweet blood, hit up Uruguay for some morcilla dulce. It's a barbaric trail mix of pig residuals with orange peel, walnuts, raisins and sometimes even chocolate and other dried fruits. Eat your bloody heart out granola bar.
Before you graduate to Korean dog meat, grub on a little sundae. Forget the cherry and fudge; the only red and brown lingering in this street food are cow or pig innards. Often stuffed with cellophane noodles, if the taste of the sausage's congealed blood does stir your insides, then the mushy pasta should do the trick.
When sucking down wieners loses its appeal, you can always curl up with a bowl of dinuguan, or "chocolate meat," in the Philippines. Nothing says "comfort food" like a stew of animal parts served in a chocolate-colored gravy of garlic, chili, vinegar and pig blood.
Pig's Blood Cake
The Taiwanese win the creativity prize with their nasty take on hot dog on a stick. Called "pig's blood cake," it's a mixture of pork blood and sticky rice that doubles as a good gagging device, eliminating the need to shove your finger down your throat post-consumption.
Chinese carnivores laugh in vegetarians' faces by ditching the intestine casing and whipping up batches of pig or duck blood tofu. Steamed, fried or on a skewer, the snack should go nicely with that tabouleh salad, glass of soymilk and recycling.
Apart from black-pudding loving immigrants, the Cajuns have traditionally represented stateside with their own special tribute to animal blood: boudin rouge. Unfortunately, the government got restrictive on the sausage and pig blood action, so now finding legit Cajun black pudding will likely involve getting chummy with natives in the Louisiana backwoods.
Sick and wrong or not, the world is swarming with vampiric tendencies. Only gross if you actually think about it (or look at or taste it), no matter where you may find yourself in the world, a good bloody meat product is surely coagulating nearby.
-- Erin Ridley