A few weeks ago we wrote about Hungarian paprika, and a reader left a question: "Where can I find gurkha also known as blood sausage? I live in Phoenix area."
While blood sausage is found in every cuisine from Asia to America, we could not find a name reference for gurkha. In French and Creole cuisine boudin noir and boudin rouge refer to types of blood sausage. Germans have blutwurst, the Spanish- morcilla, the Scots- haggis, the English-blood pudding, or black pudding, and Italians biroldo. There are ingredient differences in each of these sausages, but all traditionally contain meat, animal blood (pig, cow, lamb, sheep, duck), animal fat, breadcrumbs or grain, and seasoning.
where to find after the jump
Before you turn up your nose and freak out about the use of blood in sausage making, consider historically we humans used every edible part of a slaughtered animal for reasons of economy. Nose to tail eating, which some consider a recent culinary trend, was a means of survival.
There are other related versions of blood sausage. Many have gone through transformations to accommodate dietary laws or modern taste, and are adapted from old world recipes to new world resources. Kishka (kiszka) a Polish version is made with beef or pig intestine, barley and blood. Jewish cuisine where the laws of kashrut require blood be drained from an animal after slaughter, has kishke a relative of kishka (without blood). Kishke is made from a cow intestine stuffed with beef, barley, and schmaltz (rendered beef or chicken fat), and derma is stuffed chicken intestines, utilizing animal parts allowed in kosher cooking, fat, grain and seasoning.
Blood sausage is purchased precooked, then sauteed or grilled before serving. Common sides for a blood sausage meal are potatoes and sauerkraut.
Where to find:
Erica O'Neil writes Chow Bella's Just Offal column found blood sausage on the menu at Robbie Fox's Public House in Tempe and Edelweiss Deli and Café in Phoenix.
Stanley's Home Made Sausage Co., Schreiner's Fine Sausage, and The German Sausage Company carry their version of blood sausage. Ethnic markets specializing in Asian, Latino, and eastern European foods are other places we have seen types of blood sausage.