I Made Blood Sausage Using My Own Blood
While the bag slowly filled up with half a liter of my blood, I stared into the distance. What would my mom think if she saw me sitting in my living room like this?
All photos by the author.
A version of this article originally appeared on Motherboard Netherlands.
This article contains graphic images of blood.
When I told people that I wanted to make blood sausage using my own blood, their nostrils flared as though they'd smelled something awful. Just about every person I spoke to said, "damn, that's gross."
Gross? To me, when a pig or a cow is slaughtered, that's gross. My own blood has many of the same nutrients—the iron, vitamins, and minerals—as the pig's blood that usually goes into blood sausage, but it only harms me, not any animals. I was interested in seeing what would happen during the process. I wanted to see how it felt, but also how other people reacted. Why is my idea considered disgusting, but doing the same thing with pigs' blood isn't?
It took me five minutes to find a website where I could order the medical supplies I might need. I scrolled through lists of scalpels, cast saws, and surgical gowns.
Because I wanted to make sure I have the right kind—and because I could only order needles in batches of 100—I ordered six boxes. They cost eight euros apiece. In the category "transfusion supplies," I found blood bags for donation purposes. After I paid for the contents of my virtual cart, all I had to do was wait for my order to arrive.
The next day, everything got delivered to my door and I was as happy as a kid on Christmas morning unpacking my six hundred needles and blood bags. Suddenly, my living room looked like an operating room.
I watched a few YouTube videos and logged onto the Inner Circle dating site for advice—since a few of my matches claimed to be doctors. A few days later, I punctured the skin at my inner elbow with a good-sized needle that was connected to a blood bag.
While the blood bag slowly filled up with half a liter of my blood (the same amount you donate at the blood bank), I stared into the distance. What would my mom think if she saw me sitting in my living room like this? I wondered. Or my middle school teachers?
After the bag was been filled, my arm felt weak and looked slightly purple. Was my tourniquet too tight or did I take too much blood? I wasn't sure, but soon it was time to take the needle out of the vein. My lack of experience resulted in a spurt of blood onto my carpet. A small price to pay for a good-sized bag of blood.
I heard my doorbell and opened the door—it was my friend Fayette, who said she'd help me with my cooking, because she knows everything there is to know about blood sausage.
I prepped all the ingredients, and Fayette and I chatted about our love lives while we folded lentils, tomato puree, soy sauce, and herbs into a juicy Surinamese-style filling. And then, we liberally—but carefully—poured almost the entire bag of blood into the mixture. We shaped the batter into sausages and shoved them into my microwave-oven combo from the 90s. For the first time, I understood people who say that cooking "gives them a sense of accomplishment."
While the blood sausage I made with my own blood, sweat, and tears cooked in the oven, Fayette and I cleaned up the kitchen. By now, it looked like a slaughterhouse.
The sausage was almost done, but what kind of a feast would this be without guests? Surprisingly, plenty of people were open to tasting my bloody creation. Several co-workers, friends, and my roommate—whose fecal matter I put into a poop pill a few months ago—were all fighting for a spot at the table. I didn't have that many sausages, so I decided to have a dinner for two and invited a friend over.
After I took the sausages out of the oven, I prepared two beautiful plates. For a finishing touch, I splashed a bit of the remaining blood on each plate.
I lit some candles and we both took our seats. We were ready to eat. We cut happily into the sausages and chewed on them as if we were judges on a cooking competition show. The texture was very good and the level of spiciness was perfect. Unfortunately I went a bit heavy on the soy sauce, so the sausage is a bit salty. Not bad, though.