February 13, 2023 1 min read3 Comments
Now, maybe more than ever in history, the taste for ‘’delicious’’ meals varies greatly from person to person. And although the idea of using animal blood for food like czernina grosses some people out, others will find it interesting - which is why it’s good to get to know more about Polish duck blood soup.
Numerous cultures in Europe and Asia (but also found elsewhere) use animal blood in their cuisines. Most of the dishes that use the blood as an ingredient have a very long history and are a part of a culture, as is so with Polish czernina.
As blood is a byproduct of slaughtering, sometimes even referred to as ‘’liquid meat’’ due to its composition, it is not a surprise that people have found a way to use it instead of just throwing it away.
In Poland, animal blood was used and is still to this day, as an ingredient to a soup with strong. traditional symbolism.
So if you ever find yourself in a Polish house and you are being served czernina, it is good to know the meaning behind the dish:
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Duck blood soup in Polish is called czernina (char-NEE-nah) or czarnina or, as it is most commonly known - czarna polewka. The dish was named so after the dark, almost black color it comes in. The use of duck or goose blood (sometimes of even other animals used for consumption) is what makes it a dish of a very specific taste as well as the meaning behind it.
And although different Polish regions used different names for it (as mentioned above), it is a big part of the Polish tradition nationwide.
As it was a custom for the groom to visit the desired bride’s side of the family to ask for their ‘’hand in marriage’’, accompanied by a matchmaker. Sometimes the circumstances were so that the family would not agree to their proposal of the groom. So, to avoid offending the matchmaker, whose services would be needed in the future, the family of the bride would serve czernina.
Apart from this occasion, this soup has always been recommended as a remedy for those that need a bit of a pick-up, like after an illness or an active day.
interested in trying out the duck blood soup recipe? Well, just like any other traditional recipe, there is no one perfect ‘’measure’’ for czernina. Every Polish family has their own idea for making the best duck blood soup, but if you are feeling like giving it a try, you can use the most basic advice and then go from there.Author:
Tamara Bosak Djordjevic
Make sure you mixed blood with vinegar before use so that the blood won’t clot. Place duck meat in a pot, add water, and bring to a boil. You can then add spices and lower the heat, letting the meat cook for a while, until it softens nicely. Then, add prunes and keep the pot cooking for about an hour. Once the time is up, you can let the broth cool down.
Meanwhile, pour the milk into a bowl, add flour, a few spoons of the cooled-down broth, blood with vinegar, and mix it all in order to get a smooth texture. Then, pour the mixture into the pot with duck meat and keep cooking for about half an hour.
Enjoy your czernina zupa! Smacznego!
P.S. If you prefer, you can look for ready-made options in Polish shops or restaurants.
What ‘’strange’’ dish do you find to be in your family’s tradition?
Calories are for a 3.5 oz serving size.
Calories 107, Carbs 12 grams, Protein 13 grams
September 27, 2022
mom made duck soup with spareribs more flavor no milk loved this and miss having it told my son that it was chocolate soup and he liked it till someone told him how it was made….no more for him their both gone now so I go to a restaurant that makes it and I still love it
August 22, 2021
Though I’ve never tasted it, my grandmother (who lived with us) always make it for Easter. I remember walking with her to market’ poultry stand to get a mason jar full of duck’s blood that she had specially ordered. My Mom and her three brothers (all f whom lived in the area) would sit with her and scarf the stuff down. I tended to keep a low profile during those times!
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Sharon Szymanski Sliwinski Wiesnieski
March 04, 2023
My Grandma Sliwinski , Cleo, would make this in New Years. I too remember the infamous jar of Duck Blood.. We may not have liked it a whole lot, but it is part of all the good memories. I can see her kitchen so clearly. My Grandpa Ed was the cook and Baker in the family. Grandma only cooked Czernina and Beef Barley Soup…yummm.