Blood sausages, also known as “black sausages,” have been around in Europe for centuries, and they are made by combining ground pork with blood to create a dark red sausage. In Finland, there is a similar dish called “mustamakkara,” which is well-loved by locals. Blood sausages may be a rarity in Japan, but in this article, I’ll introduce you to mustamakkara, its features, and recipes.
What is Mustamakkara?
Mustamakkara is a traditional Finnish dish consisting of blood sausages made from ground pork and animal blood. In Finnish, “mustamakkara” means “black sausage,” and the dish has a distinct appearance due to its dark blood color. This dish has been enjoyed in Finland since the 17th century and is now a specialty of the city of Tampere.
Similar blood sausages exist in other European countries, but one unique feature of mustamakkara is that it is served with lingonberry jam.
Lingonberry jam is a Nordic condiment, and its tartness pairs well with meat dishes, including mustamakkara. While the use of animal blood may result in some gaminess, the lingonberry jam helps to mitigate this. Additionally, regular grilled sausages called “makkara” are popular in Finland.
About Western Traditional Blood Sausages
In Japan, sausages made primarily from pork lean meat are common, and there is hardly any tradition of using livestock blood in cooking. In contrast, blood sausages are a common food in Europe and some parts of Asia, where meat-eating culture thrives.
In European countries, such as Germany, where pastoral and meat-eating cultures have developed since ancient times, dishes using not only red meat but also animal blood and organs are commonly consumed. There is also the aspect that blood-based dishes were born as a wisdom to use livestock without waste in times when food was scarce.
Blood sausages were also served as a commemorative dish on the day livestock was slaughtered in old Europe. Today, blood sausages are still widely available in supermarkets in Europe and some parts of Asia.
Mustamakkara Recipes and How to Eat
Mustamakkara is made from ground pork, pig’s blood, and wheat or rye flour as a binder. Spices and ingredients like onions may also be added.
These ingredients are stuffed into a casing made from the intestinal lining, and then cooked by grilling. Typically, blood sausages are boiled, but grilling is the standard method of cooking mustamakkara. Due to the use of blood, mustamakkara has a short shelf life and cannot be stored for long periods, so it’s best to eat it as soon as possible.
Mustamakkara, a traditional Finnish dish, is made from ground pork and blood. Its distinct red-black appearance and unique taste might not be for everyone, but many find its mild flavor addictive. Using lingonberry jam instead of ketchup or mustard as a sauce is another characteristic unique to Nordic countries.