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Vampire Guide: Vampires & Blood Matters: Cooking with Blood


Czernina -- also known as duck soup, this Polish recipe uses blood as the main ingredient (yum!).

I hardly ever get a chance to serve this dish for anyone but myself. Funny, for some bizarre reason people are turned off by the idea of consuming duck's blood. I just don't understand it.

Rats! I've probably scared you off, too…

Are you still reading, oh brave and adventurous soul? Good. This is one of the most nutritious dishes I can think of. Because blood has so much protein and iron in it, it's also a very rich and filling dish. Czernina is a main course, not an appetizer.

Unfortunately, because state laws are so strict regarding the sale of blood, there are really only two ways you can make the soup:

Live in a Polish town where the local butchers are sympathetic to you.
Raise ducks and kill them yourself.
I've heard that there is a way to make mock duck's blood, but in my experience, blood cannot be faked. It has a very distinctive taste. Some people say they find it easier to obtain pig's blood, but in Ohio (where I live) blood is blood and it's hard to find outside of Toledo or Cleveland. Period. If you do find it easier to obtain pig's blood, this is an acceptable substitute, although the flavour isn't as light as that of a duck. Do not use cow's blood, at any rate - the flavour is much too heavy.

To make czernina, you need:

One large duck (about seven or eight pounds)

Two cups of blood -- three is even better (this is more than most single ducks have in them; if you have a butcher, get a double portion of blood). Note that if you get the duck and the blood from a butcher, the blood will be mixed with vinegar to preserve it. Without the vinegar, it coagulates and goes bad within hours.


Salt, to taste (about two tablespoons)

Two teaspoons of pepper (the whole peppercorns are best)

One pound of dried, pitted prunes

One pound of raisins

Two tablespoons of white flour

Two tablespoons of sugar (raw cane sugar is interesting)

Sixteen to twenty four ounces of sour cream

Vinegar, to taste (some people like a sweet soup, some like it sour). I like balsamic vinegar.


Warning: this is not a quick dish! It's not that hard, but it does require you to spend the afternoon in and out of the kitchen.

You can leave the skin on the duck if you want; be aware that this will make the soup very fatty. The soup will have more flavour, but your arteries won't thank you in the morning. On the other hand, no matter which way you look at it, this is a high cholesterol, high fat soup.

Place the duck in a large kettle and fill it with water - enough to cover the duck. Add salt. Bring to a boil. Skim off the foam! Cover and simmer for two or three hours, until the meat is tender. Get out a towel and remove the duck, placing it on the towel. You'll need to pick all the meat off the bones and get rid of the bones - this should be fairly easy, the water will have boiled all the meat loose.

Go back to the soup, which should still be simmering. Dump in the raisins and prunes and peppercorns. Cook for forty five minutes.

In a separate bowl, mix the flour, the sugar, and the sour cream, beating well until blended smoothly. Take your duck's blood and add this slowly, beating it in until finally the mixture is well blended. Now take a ladle and dip it into the soup stock. Pour it into a cup. Slowly beat the soup stock into the bloody sour cream. Now pour this whole bloody mixture back into the soup pot. Stir this mixture constantly until the soup is boiling again. If you want a sweet soup, add a little extra sugar; if you want a sour soup, add vinegar. Sweet and sour go well together, and many people add a little of both with some more salt to bring out the flavour.

Put the meat back into the soup.

You can boil some kluski (egg noodles) and add these to the soup, or potatoes, or both. I like to add potatoes and mushrooms - portobellos. They aren't authentic, but they taste very good in the pot..

For a very sweet, thick soup, add a cup of pureed prunes to the aforementioned ingredients.

I like to serve this with red wine. Duck is technically white meat, because it's fowl, but it's game meat, and the blood gives the soup a very heavy quality, making it suitable for red wine. Try a dry zinfandel.


Can't get blood, you say?
Can't take the pain, you say?
Completely f*cked and out of options, you say?

Well, friend, you'v come to the right place. Allow me to introduce myself, I'm V the high king of last ditch efforts. If you're desperate for a quick, easy, and relatively inexpensive fix, have a seat and listen up.

1.) Go to the online yellow pages, put in your ZIP code then type in "butcher" or "slaughter house". I suggest starting with butchers, as they usually are more willing to sell.

2.) Don't even think about going to a chain store, deli, or any thing like that; they'll just look at you like you're nuts. What you need to find is a privately owned and operated butcher.

3.) Be prepared to spend a little money, as well as negotiate.

4.) Call them up, and ask them if they sell blood. Now, this is VERY important!!! They must understand that it has to be beef blood*, and that it MUST be fresh and sterile enough for human consumption. (Tell them you're English or something, and you're making blood pudding). If they say they can do it, ask how much (my guy tried to get me at $5 a pint, but since I bought it in bulk, I talked him down to $3.50). Arrange an order for the date and time you can pick it up.

5.) Now you're going to need some extra stuff here...

A: One bottle (or more, depending on how much blood you bought) of wine. NEVER use white, only red. And the stronger the better.
B: A funnel with a nozzle small enough to fit into the wine bottle opening.
C: A THIN cloth (a clean bandana works fine). Be prepared to throw it away.
D: An empty, clean washed milk jug.

6.) Take the bandana and place it inside the funnel, but not all the way; though deep enough so that there is room to pour liquid in it. Tape it around the edges, so that it is secure. Insert it into the milk jug. Pour the blood (very slowly) into the contraption. When all of it has been strained, remove the funnel from the jug and the bandana from the funnel.

7.) Now, in the milk jug, mix about a 1:2 ratio of blood:wine. gGet rid of the rest of the wine (better yet, save it for later). Use the funnel to pour the concoction back into the wine bottle (as to hide it's continence while in the fridge). Shake well. Put the bottle in the coldest part of your refrigerator, but NOT the freezer.

Shake the bottle well every time, before you drink the contents; that way you get an even mix. It tastes like piss, but it works (it takes about a full glass to kill the need for me), and you don't have to worry about donors talking, or blood-born diseases.


*Beef blood is the least bio-hazardous of all the blood available at a butcher. Pork blood can be EXTREMELY toxic, as can all the others.

* * *

adds that 1) even mixed with wine in the coldest part of your fridge, this mixture probably will only keep for three days or so; and 2) the thing about raw blood for human consumption makes me wonder... blood puddings and other sausages are cooked, so... there's probably some extra care that needs to be taken when ordering this from the butcher. The alcohol in the wine will kill some types of micro-organisms, but some are only killed by heat or freezing. It's not entirely unsafe, but you might want to advise just really being aware of how the butcher goes about his business. If they are catching the blood from a hairy carcass, i would say pass on it; there can be fecal material in the cow hair. Sometimes they don't bleed the animal until the hide is off, so... it depends. I am wondering if there is some way a person might get the blood from kosher butchers; it's doubtful, but they are very clean and careful.

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