We love to hear from our customers at Sikorski, but lately it seems that we have been getting a lot of questions about our Blood Sausages. These exotic and beautiful sausages are a great source of iron, but some people are a little wary about trying them for the first time. If you’ve ever had any questions or concerns about this mysterious and alluring sausages, join us as we try to answer some of the most common issues about the Blood Sausage.
What is it?
Called by many names, such as “black pudding”, “boudin”, or “kaszanka”, blood sausage is a delicacy enjoyed and admired by connoisseurs all over the world. It is made the same way as any other sausage, but instead of just containing meat and other spices, it also contains blood and usually some kind of filler to soak up the blood so that it doesn’t leak out during cooking. The extra moisture and flavour from the blood gives the sausage a very distinct taste. It is also high in iron and vitamin A, due to the blood that it contains.
What’s in it?
Other than blood, meat, and spices exactly what is put into blood sausages changes a lot depending on the country where the recipe comes from. Some places add apples, others add onions, and some recipes use oatmeal. Because some blood sausages can contain wheat, it is best to be careful when purchasing them if you have a gluten or wheat sensitivity. At Sikorski Sausages, we make our blood sausage in the Polish (kaszanka) style, which uses buckwheat and onions to absorb the blood.
So… can I eat it?
If you have a gluten or wheat sensitivity, buckwheat should not cause a reaction. Despite the name, it actually is not a type of wheat at all – it’s more closely related to rhubarb! Buckwheat is an ancient grain like quinoa or amaranth that has been harvested for well over five thousand years and is used for making flour, honey, tea, beer, noodles (called soba noodles in Japan) and pancakes. It is called kasha in Poland and is put into cabbage rolls, blintzes, and porridges as well as blood sausages. In Canada, buckwheat is approved as part of a gluten-free diet. However….
- Blood sausages contain pork meat, and should be avoided by people who are restricted from eating pork for religious, cultural, or health reasons.
- Blood sausages can contain beef blood, and should be avoided by people who are restricted from eating beef for religious, cultural, or health reasons.
- Blood sausages are very rich and high in iron, and should be avoided by people who are on a restricted iron diet or suffering from gout.
Why would I want to eat it?
Blood sausage is considered a delicacy in Germany, Slovakia, and Poland, among other countries. It has a very delicate and characteristic taste that other sausages just do not possess, which makes it a fun and interesting addition to a charcuterie board or an exotic change to any dish that you would usually make with sausage.
How am I supposed to eat it?
Because there are so many different ways of making blood sausages, there are a lot of different ways to enjoy them as well. The preferred Polish style of enjoying blood sausage is to pan-fry it alongside some white onions and serve it with sauerkraut or cooked potatoes. They can be served with applesauce, horseradish, pan-fried potatoes, sautéed onions, or green cabbage. Blood sausages can be served cold, grilled, boiled, or even battered and fried alongside some French fries (an English snack delight for those who don’t feel like having fish with their chips)! Blood sausages are used in stews and gumbos, like the Louisiana boudin rouge. Blood sausages (called “black pudding”) are also often included alongside eggs, bacon, sausages, tomatoes and toast as part of a traditional English Breakfast. Once you start cooking blood sausage, you’ll find there are a lot of interesting and exciting ways to serve it!
Do you have any favourite recipes or ways of preparing blood sausages? If so, please share them with us in the comments below!