Tasting blood

“Blood is really warm,
it’s like drinking hot chocolate
but with more screaming.”

-Ryan Mecum, Zombie Haiku

We live in an interesting age where the supernatural is natural and everyone wants to be a vampire, or a werewolf, or one of the mystic fae possessing not only their supreme powers, but their nubile physiques and wicked appetites. Ever since Anne Rice re-introduced us to the “gentleman vampire” Louis de Pointe du Lac, our society has been obsessed with immortality at a gruesome price.

Have you ever wondered what it would be like to have near-unlimited strength and speed or to feel that preternatural rush a vampire can only get from devouring a glut of blood from some poor hapless mortal? Who do you want to be? Eternal teenager Edward Cullen, a vampire who walks in daylight, but sparkles like diamond under the direct rays of the sun or the illustrious Eric Northman, an ancient Norse man-turned demon who lusts for the blood of a faerie half-breed named Sookie Stackhouse? I know who’d I choose to be.

Let’s just say you were given an opportunity for eternal life as a vampire and you had one week to decide whether to die or live forever. How would you prepare yourself for such a transformation? I mean, wouldn’t you want to know what all that blood and gore tastes like before devoting the rest of your eternal existence to it’s acquisition? After all, have you ever tasted blood? They say once you do, you can never go back…

Instead of sinking your poorly-developed canines into your boyfriend’s neck, perhaps you should start with some more accepted ways to ingest the divine drink, ways that won’t end with a one-way ticket to jail or worse…the local insane asylum. Also, there’s no need to draw attention to the fact that in less than a week, you’ll be immortal. Then everyone would want to be immortal and that wouldn’t be fun at all, so it’s best to keep it on the down-low.

The easiest way to get a taste would be to sample some animal blood in acceptable forms like blood pudding, most commonly known around here as boudin noir or boudin rouge. One of the many restaurants that serve a delicious boudin noir just happens to be an authentic Franco-German style brasserie dubbed Luke.

Located on the corner of Perdido Street and St. Charles Avenue in the Central Business District, Luke offers a taste of something quite different alongside norms like etouffee and moules frites; presenting patrons with dishes like Flamenkuche, an Alsacien onion tarte with thick bits of bacon and Emmenthaler cheese, or Badischer Presskopf, a hogshead cheese with house made pickles. But, among their many hand made sausages, Luke also offers a small appetizer of boudin noir, served simply with a saute of potatoes, apples and onions. The dish is so intriguing in both flavor and texture, it might make you want to run immediately to your soon-to-be maker, but you might want to consider that in the future, you won’t be able to accompany your glut of hemoglobin with a glass of Spätburgunder.

You could keep your new found blood fascination more private if you simply purchased some blood sausage from the local butcher, like Cleaver & Co. On Baronne Street near Constantinople, Simone Reggie and Seth Hamstead run a locally grown, whole-animal butcher shop and know more about meat (and blood) than most vampires. Among other meat-based delicacies like chaurice, andouille, headcheese and tasso, Cleaver & Co. will frequently offer boudin rouge, similar to their regular boudin but “taken to 11.” Their boudin is generally made with pork, liver, the holy trinity (onion, bell pepper and celery) and rice. Boudin rouge is basically all of that Cajun happiness with pork blood added in, making for a deep, rich-flavored sausage that your palate will be pleased to meet.

All in all, it might just be better to play it safe and head to the Swizzle Stick for a drink. I’m sure master mixologist Lu Brow will happily whip up one of her famous “Day Drinkin’ Bloody Marys” replete with V8 juice, Crystal Hot Sauce, Creole seasoning, Worcestershire, minced garlic, celery seed, onion powder, horseradish and plenty of gin (or vodka). One or two of these beauties might just be enough for you to forget all this aberrant, immortal nonsense. That is, if the vampire can forget about you, too.

*Article originally published in the October 2013 issue of Where Y’at Magazine

**Cleaver & Co. and Swizzle Stick are closed

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