A curious fact that most cultures share is that necessity drives the cultivation of a cuisine. This explains the use of easily accessible ingredients, preservation methods, and not letting anything go to waste. The blood sausage is born from adapted practices due to this way of life. Found in many cultures from Europe to Asia, the humble dish is a prime example of these tenets. Morcilla is counted among the many varieties around the world. Originally from Spain and adapted by many countries conquered by the Spanish, the sausage is popular around Latin America and Spain. Usually found sandwiched between arepas, tortillas, and gorditas. Locally, we have Pinuneg: a blood sausage composed of minced pork and innards prepared in the Cordillera Administrative Region.
Coming from a region that treasures blood stew and where it is a fairly common dish, finding out that some sausages are made with the animal by-product didn’t faze me. In fact, it connected some dots. Finding out that the flavorful dark chorizo slices I fished for in my bowl of fabada asturiana (and subsequently stole from the neighboring bowl) was actually morcilla made sense. You must be asking, why? Besides the fact that it put the unlikely idea of chefs sacrilegiously burning slices of Spanish chorizo to rest, it explained the depth of flavor it lent to my favorite dishes.
Similar to the distinct rounded taste that every serving of the familiar dinuguan has, the sausage has a depth to it. But the admittedly off-putting main ingredient has a milder flavor than what you would expect. Don’t let your inhibitions keep you from trying the Spanish morcilla, you may find yourself loving it as much as I do. Take the plunge into sampling blood sausages, you can find these at Alba’s Spanish Restaurant in Makati City or in the various Terry’s Selection branches.