Sanguinaccio is one of the typical sweets of the carnival period, and in my town Olivadi (CZ), there are two different modes of preparation: the classic with the use of pork blood and vino cotto; And the ‘modern’ that it turns out is, instead, deprived of raisins and nuts and added of chocolate and sugar.
Sanguinaccio is a food of very ancient origin, already known and appreciated by the Romans. Originally, this sweet, creamy chocolate-based cream was made with the addition of an ingredient whose consumption has been forbidden for several years: pork blood. Chocolate and pork blood (which gave a slightly acidic aftertaste) were cooked together with the addition of red wine, aromas, raisins and dried fruits, sprinkled with potato starch. Once cooked, the sanguinaccio was cooled completely to be stuffed into pork gut … its exterior appearance was practically identical to large sausages and was eaten just sliced!
In fact, this recipe originates in ancient Rome, when the Romans used to eat a sort of cake to celebrate the saturnals (festivities corresponding to the present carnival). Such sweets were called frictilia (chiacchiere) and during the festivities they were distributed to the crowd that poured into the street to recover this delicious sweet. today, in Naples, they eat chiacchiere dipped in this goodness, called sanguinaccio.
The pig, a symbol of this ancient ritual food ritual, has strong links with the sphere of the sacred: the animal is, in fact, associated with the figure of St. Anthony Abate, celebrated on January 17, the day when the real begins Carnival party. The food’s smoothness that matches man to the pork is easy to find in the carnival party: in fact, the word says ‘pork does not throw away anything’, not even the blood that has long been used for therapeutic purposes, Lack of iron in women during the menstrual period, both in those with anemia. In fact, the ancient therapeutic tradition of the original bloodbath was abolished in Italy in 1992 to avoid the danger of infection, considering that blood is a vehicle for transmissible diseases. This does not detract from the fact that pork blood to prepare the blood is still used in the countryside, and although not marketed – in a formal way – in grocery stores, it is readily available – illegally – in the country markets. But the value of the pig and its properties can be, and above all, nutritious. But why the pig, and why exactly at the carnival? According to tradition, the coincidence would seem random: in the Middle Ages, as in some campaigns still today, there is a cycle for the preparation of the pig -consistent in its rapid fatigue, in its brutal killing and subsequent drying-that ends on horseback Between the months of January and February, the only time of the year that the peasant-has been so for many centuries- not only delights the delicacy of a food strictly destined to the tables of the rich and the nobility, in the hope of thinning, At least temporarily, social differences, but above all, arouses its hard work in a real orgy. To make sure that Sicilians have been affected by “draculite”, it is good to point out that, in the past, the push for the consumption of certain products was determined solely by poverty situations. Not only the bloody but also the so-called chocolate sauce evokes the pig by emphasizing its importance during this time of the year. In spite of all this, the blood, though devoid of “blood”, still stands on our tables today, in the form of a delicious chocolate cream, served alongside the beloved chatting, other carnival pampering.
In Italy, there are many varieties of bloodstains that follow the ingredients and traditions of the territory:
- Friuli Venezia Giulia: sauganel;
- Valle d’Aosta: the boudin;
- Tuscany: the biroldo (flavored with wild fennel) and the unharmed;
- Liguria: beroldo (pine nuts and milk);
- Lombardy and Piedmont: marzipan and potatoes;
- Sicily: sangeli (prepared with the intestines)
The following is my family recipe, from my granmother Elisabetta to my father Giuseppe, this is how in Olivadi we still make sanguinaccio every year.
Ingredients: 1 liter of pork blood, 1 liter of cooked must, 500 gr of walnuts, 70 gr of pine nuts or hazelnuts (optional), 500 gr. Of raisins, orange peel.
Procedure: place in a pot blood mixed to vino cotto. Add the orange peel, raisins, nuts, and all the other ingredients roughly minced. Put on moderate heat until solidified. Pour into a bowl and allow to cool.
I also discovered just today about a Canadian version of blood pudding. I bought a book titled “A taste of Acadie” wrote by Marielle Cormier Boudreau and Malvin Gallant. I am an historian and I crashed into this book, which I wanted to learn more about Canada in this 150 years anniversary and also because was an old book with very old recipes. Now at pag. 84 the recipe is named “boudin du pays” (blood pudding). Its for sure a great example of North American French cuisine, from PEI to Magdalen Islands, but recall me to my “cervellati” made for Cucinato in an interview and video about the tradition of the pig in Italy and Canada done 2 months ago in Toronto.