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FOOD & DRINK

Meet the Spaniard making morcilla with his very own blood!

You’ve heard the arguments over which of Spain’s blood sausage variety is the best. Some think it hails from Burgos, others believe the blend of pig’s blood, rice, onion and spices is better in Leon.

Meet the Spaniard making morcilla with his very own blood!
Morcilla made with human blood? Photo: Playground.

But what on earth would these traditionalists think about the concoction currently being made in Alloza, a remote village in Teruel province, a sausage that its creator claims would be suitable for vegans because it is made using one’s own blood?

Yes, you read that right. The first step of the recipe involves extracting 40ml of one’s own blood fresh from the vein.

Raúl Escuín, a wood cutter in a village with a population of just 600 people, has found fame after adapting an old family recipe to create what he believes is the first vegan morcilla.


Raul at home in Alloza, Teruel province. Photo: Tuytumorcilla.com

The 30 year old insists that his version of morcilla is vegan friendly because it doesn’t involve any animal abuse in its creation but how on earth did he come up with the idea?

“It’s something that I have been thinking about since I was a child,” he told The Local. “It just doesn’t seem that weird to me.”

His creation came to light in December after he featured in a youtube documentary by Playground which soon went viral on social media.

“Yes, I know that humans are animals too and it is therefore an animal product, but if it doesn’t involve animal abuse then it truly conforms to the vegan ethos,” he said. “If you are vegan and want to eat morcilla then the only option you have is to make it with your own blood.”

His recipe involves extracting 40 ml of blood  – which is done by a professional nurse who lives in the village  – before frying it up with rice, onions, water and a selection of herbs and spices.

The mixture is then inserted into a vegan sausage casing before being boiled, sliced and fried in the usual way.

He has encouraged others to make their own morcilla using their own blood. “So far everyone who has tasted their own blood sausage, has been surprised by how tasty it is!” he insists.

But he warns that under no circumstances should the morcilla be shared with another person. “No, that really would be cannibalism,” he said.

Escuín has plans to take his project on the road and host workshops  – with trained nurses to extract the blood – enabling others to create their own blood morcilla. Tentative dates are already set for Zaragoza, Madrid and Barcelona.

And what do the inhabitants of Alloza think about the culinary creation putting their small village on the map?

“There are people here who understand what I’m doing and others who really don’t,” he admits. “But my friends and family are all supportive.” 

For more about Raúl Escuín's project check out his website

READ ALSO: ‘Wars have been started over less': Spain reacts brilliantly to UK supermarket's cheesy churros

FOOD & DRINK

Did Spain make Coca-Cola before the US?

Could Kola-Coca, the drink produced in a small Valencian village, have been the inspiration for the world-famous soft drink, Coca-Cola?

Did Spain make Coca-Cola before the US?

Coca-Cola, or coke as it is often referred to, has become one of the most popular drinks around the world since it was invented in 1886 in the United States. It has also become the drink most synonymous with American culture and the secret formula has been patented there too. 

Despite this, in the small town of Aielo de Malferit almost 140 years ago, three partners, Enrique Ortiz, Ricardo Sanz and Bautista Aparici, set up a distillery, which later went on to supply drinks to Queen María Cristina, who was married to King Alfonso XII, and the rest of the royal household. 

READ ALSO: How the Spanish sport Padel is winning over the world

Among the drinks that they created, the most popular by far was the ‘Jarabe Superior de Kola-Coca‘. It was made from kola nuts and coca leaves from Peru, and was dubbed by locals as ‘Heavenly Anise’.

The drink became so successful and popular that in 1885, one of the three founders, Bautista Aparici, travelled to the US to promote it and present the product to consumers in Philadelphia. 

He then returned to Spain, but a year later in 1886 in Atlanta, the pharmacist John Stith Pemberton invented the famous Coca-Cola. Sound familiar?

Whether this was a coincidence or not is open to interpretation, but what is even more interesting, other than the similar name, is that the drink contained basically the same ingredients as the Spanish Kola-Coca too. 

READ ALSO: Why a mouse called Pérez is Spain’s tooth fairy

When it was first created, the basic ingredients of Coca-Cola were just coca leaves, cola nuts and soda water, the same recipe that was made in Aielo in Valencia, except, they used cold water from the region, instead of soda water.

While Coca-Cola went from strength to strength and finally achieved world domination, the distillery in Valencia went on to produce other drinks. 

Then in the mid-1950s, Kola-Coca disappeared from sale when it is said, that representatives from the Coca-Cola company visited the Aielo factory to buy the patent for the ‘heavenly anise’ drink. 

Although there is no material evidence of this patent ever exchanging hands, it’s interesting to think the inspiration for this most American of drinks could have originated in a small village in Spain.

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