A few years ago I bought a cookbook of traditional Neapolitan desserts, which includes four different versions of sanguinaccio dolce. It is often made into a dense, chocolate log rather than a pudding with candied citron, pine nuts and spices like cinnamon. More often than not these days, the recipe is carried on blood-free, with butter and cornstarch attempting to re-create the creamy texture that the blood would give. While we were waiting for our two litres of blood to be measured out, the butcher — a Sardinian native — asked us what we were doing with it.
There was that nostalgia again. I thought to myself that we would probably look almost normal if it was Naples, but we were actually weaving through Melbourne traffic — a memorable food moment if there was one. The amount of sugar seems very high, but you will need it to balance the saltiness of the blood. Cinnamon and grated orange rind add some traditional but optional aromas to this delicacy. In a large pot, heat the milk and the blood together over a low heat. When it is warm, add the sugar and stir to dissolve, then the dark chocolate, broken into pieces.
As the chocolate melts and the blood cooks, the mixture will begin to get thick and heavy like a custard. Add the cinnamon and orange if using , take off the heat and serve warm in cups with savoiardi biscuits. This mixture does very well transformed into a gelato when cool, simply put it in the gelato maker , which we did with great success — stay tuned for more on this dish in April, where it will be featured on Food52!
I was looking forward to this post after seeing the puctures on facebook. That said, its sad recipes could be lost someday because of laws. Lovely post! You are so right. If you live in or around NYC getting the blood is quite easy. Most Chinese markets carry it Manhattan, Brooklyn, Queens are the boroughs that are one can find it the easiest.
If you life in another state, try your local Chinese restaurant to get the blood, as they might be able to order it for you, or have it on hand for their own consumption my friends father has a Chinese restaurant in upstate NY, and they order it to make Blood Soup for themselves. You can also ask a reputable butcher to get you the blood.
Blood and Chocolate
Very intriguing indeed! This treat is interesting. Thanks — lovely blog, will flag you to my goody friends in Melbourne. Glad to know about that, had no idea you could find this dish in London! I will definitely let some curious friends know about that! What a fascinating post. But reading this post, I was a bit unsure about how I felt about milk, chocolate and blood. That is, until I saw the last picture. I would eat a bathtub full of that sanguinaccio dolce. Do you know where can I find this in Florence?
There is something so very appealing to me about this recipe.
Morcilla is one of my favorite sausages—I love the depth of flavor—so I assume that that rich, unctuousness would be stellar mixed in with dark chocolate. I will bookmark this recipe in hopes that one day I can find some fresh pigs blood myself. When I was growing up calf brains were a breakfast delecacy. And these ate found in ethnic eateries in the mid central part of the country. I so enjoyed your recipes especially the sanguinaccio. We always ate our ethnic foods.
This comment really made my day! They insisted on serving us a meal traditional of their hometown, which was finished with a tart filled with exactly this blood and chocolate custard which they took great pleasure in telling us! It was delicious, and I found it so intriguing at the time as something I had never even heard of, let along tasted. As you surmised, they source their blood from a cousin, who keeps his own pigs.
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This post was a fascinating explanation of the origins of this type of sweet dish. Thanks so much! Thank you for a wonderful version of the Sanguinaccio dolce. Emiko You have inspired me to make a version of your blood and chocolate gelato! I make my own chocolate from the bean and I have matched it with pacdon park black pudding!
This will give the gelato a spicier angle along with the candied fruit. Thanks for your comment, John. Is it in Lygon? Also, how much pudding did you make from that 1 litre? I just want to try to make a little bit of it. Thank you. I hope you can reply this to my email.
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Hi Kiki, thanks for your comment! This way I could make a big batch and not have it go to waste on me! Emiko, there is a lovely festival out by poggio a caiano where i go to the blessing of the animals for San Antonio Abate, January 17th. Sounds very much the same thing actually! Have yet to try them but am very curious! I read your recipe and wonder how much more chocolate did you add to this or is the recipe the final one you adjusted from the original.
We made this a children with our grandmother,from Potenza and Anzi,Italy! Can you imagine? I would love to make this as a surprise for my 84 year old father,but hate to do it incorrectly! Can you please advise on chocolate amount you used?
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Any tips? Hi Deb, what precious food memories! The recipe above is my adjusted recipe — sanguinaccio dolce, as you can imagine, has a different version in every southern Italian household, with everyone having a different way of doing it! Do give it a try, I hope your father loves it! We have just tried your recipe in two very different sets of circumstances. The first time was up in the Spanish hills using minutes-old warm blood straight from the pig. The smell was fairly revolting to begin with but mellowed with heating.
I added some salt to give the tang. Although it was still a really interesting dessert and one that I would do again it was a patch on the Spanish effort! I guess I should get my own pig in London! Many thanks for the recipe and the inspiration. Hello Vicki, thanks so much for your feedback! Hi Emiko — love the blog! Have you ever tried making then reheating this?
Curious how it works with the blood in there! Wonderful food blog! I love preserving old traditions and new desserts, and am dying to make this! But I do have a question.
Here it can be hard to get except in massive quantities like for a restaurant , or a visit to the butchers in the Vietnamese part of town usually has it — good luck! I was born in Italy and lived there for 11 years before coming to America. I come from Ruvo del Monte, a small village in the Italian region of Basilicata and we would also hold our traditional pig festival once a year and would make sausages, sanguinaggio, pigs feet and many other things using every part of the animal.
Nothing went to waste. I have never forgotten how delicious it was and to this day, I am now in my sixties, I still crave the taste and very creamy texture of my favorite pie in the world…blood pie. Whenever I describe to people how delicious it was, their first reaction is Ewh! I could you eat blood? The irony. We even eat the bones of animals ground up with sugar and stuffed intestinal llinings. It never fails to amuse me the ignorance of some of my fellow Americans. I hope to make this soon! It has intrigued me for some time, and now I am about to write a tasting menu based off using a whole hog, and it seems a perfect fit.
My questions are:1 how important is the freshness of the blood if you are cooking it anyways?
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Obviously the fresher the better, but if it is sealed properly, what is the difference between fresh and three-day old blood? And 2 What was the name of the book of traditional Neapolitan desserts? I appreciate your time. In other words, as fresh as can be! Good luck! I investigated on Google and found your lovely blog. Interesting desert. On the program it was served inside the rind of half an orange and it looked even more beautiful.
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