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Blood-Soup-art - 12/26/00


"Polish Black Soup - Czarnina" by Casamira Jawjalny, O.L.


NOTE: See also the files: organ-meats-msg, soup-msg, duck-goose-msg, butchering-msg, pig-to-sausag-art, butch-goat-art, fowls-a-birds-msg.





This article was submitted to me by the author for inclusion in this set

of files, called StefanŐs Florilegium.


These files are available on the Internet at:



Copyright to the contents of this file remains with the author.


While the author will likely give permission for this work to be

reprinted in SCA type publications, please check with the author first

or check for any permissions granted at the end of this file.


                               Thank you,

                                    Mark S. Harris

                                    AKA:  Stefan li Rous

                                         stefan at florilegium.org



Polish Black Soup - Czarnina

by Mistress Casamira Jawjalny, O.L.


Why is the world would anyone make this?


When I was a young child, I remember hearing about blood soup.  I

remember the Polish name was pronounced "Czar NEE na".  I think I even

ate some at my Uncle Al's house.  I have no memory of the taste.  


When I really wanted to gross out someone, I would bring up eating duck

blood soup.  I never, in my wildest imagination, thought I would make and

eat this concoction.


However . . .


Mst. Anne de Junius offered the cook's guild of Loch Salann the

opportunity to obtain 3 geese that were to be "eliminated" from the

historic farm because they were pecking children visiting the farm.

Being a city girl, I had no experience with what was involved in taking a

live bird to the table, and saw this as an opportunity to experience the

steps my medieval ancestors went through to obtain a goose dinner.  In an

effort to use every part of the goose, I though, why not use the blood?


I called my uncle, who said to drain the blood into a container, and mix

it with vinegar.  It could be frozen before use.  He promised to send the

family recipe for Czarnina.


I brought my large brewing bucket, which was used to collect the blood

from 3 geese.  Only about 3 cups were collected, and I mixed the blood

with vinegar and froze it.


My thanks go to HL Connor Trygvasson for his skill with the machete,

while I held the camera.  Master Edward Mendeith held each bird after the

neck was cut so that the blood drained into the bucket. With the second

bird, he paid more attention to where the bird's legs were positioned

while he held the bleeding fowl, thus his voice remained in the lower





Why does everyone say YUCK when asked to try Blood Soup or Blood Sausage?


There were old Hebrew traditions that prohibited eating blood.


Tannahill gives the theory that the bible implies man was originally a

vegetarian.  'And God said, "Behold, I have given you every plant

yielding seed which is upon the face of all the Earth, and every tree

with seed in its fruit; you shall have them for food" ' (Gen. 1:29)

However, after the flood, when there was a population growth, the Hebrews

were granted permission to eat meat.  "every moving thing that lives

shall be food for you …" However "You shall not eat flesh with its life,

that is, its blood" (Gen. 9:33-4) (2)


The Koran also prohibits ingestion of animal blood.


The ability to store meat depends upon removing the blood from the flesh,

and the most efficient way is to use the animal's heart. Thus, before

slaughter, the animal is stunned, and bled before it dies. If not eaten

fresh, it can be salted for preservation.  Slaughterhouses are bloody,

and most folks consider blood distasteful.  The kosher slaughter is done

swiftly to minimize animal trauma and allows the maximum amount of blood

to be removed from the animal.  What blood remains is soaked out in cold

water.  (2)


However, blood was consumed by other folks in medieval times.


Marco Polo described the  Mongol Army's method of feeding soldiers while

on campaign.  Each warrior on horseback had a string of 18 remounts.

About 1 cup of blood was obtained from a horse in the soldier's string to

feed the rider.  A horse can sustain this loss every 10 days.  The blood

was consumed raw since there were no cooking fires.  This "daily ration"

was enough to sustain the army on campaign, and there was no need for

supplies. (2)


The Patzinak tribes of the 11th century also drank blood when there was

no water. (2)

Svartsoppa, a Viking dish made from pig's blood during the autumn

slaughter was a velvety blood soup.  Tannahil comments, " . . . though it

was unlikely that the Vikings ever bother to cook it! (2)


Blood that clots can be formed into sausage and blood sausage is

documented in Larousse. (3)  Blood sausage was introduced to Poland before

1000 A.D from German-speaking areas.  It is known that blood was supplied

to the royal kitchens for the purpose of preparing a blood soup called

czernina (or juszka in old Polish) . . . Blood from ducks, geese and pigs

was used.  (1)


Larousse Gastronomique states:

"The blood of butchered animals has no part in nutrition, but is has a

number of industrial uses (the treatment of wines, clarification of

sugar, the manufacture of coal products, fertilizers, etc.)."

However, it goes on to discuss the use of pig blood used to make boudin

(black pudding), and the blood of rabbit, hare and chicken is used to

thicken the dishes called civits.  There are several other references to



Because of the high iron concentration, blood is nutritious.  It is not

often accepted as part of our modern diet, however.


The Recipe


The Recipe is an old family recipe attributed to Frances Wloszczynska,



5-6 lb duck OR 3-5 lb spare ribs or pork loin ribs.  

Fowl trimmings (if available)     

1 Gallon Water                       

2 bay leaves

4 whole cloves

4 whole peppercorns

4 T flour  (More if a thicker soup is desired)

1 T sugar (More to taste)

2 T salt

2 T pepper (More to taste)

1/2 c vinegar (More to taste)

1 c sweet cream, whipping cream or dairy sour cream

Apples  or pears - peal, core and chop into pieces less than 1/2 inch

Dried fruit:  1/2 lb pitted prunes  1/2 lb raisins

2 c duck or goose blood OR 1/2 c pig blood.

32 oz prune juice with pulp may be substituted for blood.


1/2 tsp crushed marjoram

4 whole allspice*                *Not period and not used!

4 dried orange peels-ground**      **Not used, not readily available in Poland     


In a soup kettle, cover meat and foul trimmings with water and boil

slowly 1-3 hours depending on the size and age of the duck.  

Skim off foam from top of soup.

Place spices in cheese cloth bag and add to soup.

Boil slowly until meat is tender.  

Remove meat and spice bag from soup.  Reserve meat to be added back later.

Take out 1 cup of boiling stock and set aside.

Add fruit to soup.

Boil until apples or pear are soft.


In a separate bowl, blend the flour, sugar, salt and pepper into 1/2 c of

   the blood until smooth.  

Add cream to the flour mixture.  Mixture should be a light paste.

Add the 1 c of hot soup stock and mix until smooth.

Add vinegar and blend.


While soup is still boiling, add flour mixture and remaining blood (or

prune juice if no blood was used).

Stir constantly.

If a thicker soup is desired, add 1 c of pureed prunes.  

Boil another 5-10 minutes.  Meat may be returned to the soup.


Taste and adjust seasoning.


Allow to cool and place in refrigerator.

Allow soup to stand overnight before serving.  

Because of the raisins, prunes and fruit, the soup will be sweeter the

   next day.


I had no idea what this would taste like.  I followed the recipe, and

took my chances.  I did not use the allspice or the dried orange peel

because allspice is modern, and it doesn't appear that orange peel would

be common in the Polish kitchen.


I did not use pear, only apples.  


I didn't remove the hot soup to mix into the roux until just before it

was needed - therefore it contained the boiled apple.  I don't think this

affected the flavor.


Much to my surprise, I liked the flavor!  It has more pepper than I would

like, but probably was ok for medieval tastes, since I am not fond of a

lot of pepper.  The sweet and sour fruit flavor is delightful.


The members of the Loch Salann Cook's Guild, (folks who are brave in

their food adventures) that attended the Great Goose Feast all had the

opportunity to sample this culinary  experiment.  They gave it mixed

reviews.  One person declined to sample it.  Two tasted it, but did not

eat the small portion they were given.  Three of us had second helpings!

Others ate their portions.


This is certainly NOT a dish that I would offer for general consumption

at a feast.  It might be used if a choice of several different soups were

available, and each guest was given the opportunity to choose a soup.  





1. Food and Drink in Medieval Poland - Rediscovering a Cuisine of the Past

Maria Dembinska, translated by Magdalena Thomas.  Revised and Adapted by

William Woys Weaver. University of Pennsylvania Press, Philadelphia, PA  1999  ISBN 0-8122-3224-0

(Pages 89-90 discuss blood soup.)


2. Food in History. Reay  Tannahill

Crown Publishers, Inc.  New York, NY     1973, 1988    ISBN 0-517-57186-2

3. Larousse Gastronomique, The Encyclopedia of Food, Wine & Cookery

Prosper Montagne, translated by Nina Froud, Patience Gray, Maud M7rdoch

and Barbara Macrae Taylor. Edited by Charlotte Turgeon and Nina Froud

Crown Publishers, Inc., New York, NY 1961


4. Recipe from Albert Ostrenga, Milwaukee, Wisconsin.


Copyright 2000 by Jeanne Schweiger <jeannes1401 at juno.com>. Permission is granted for republication in SCA-related publications, provided the author is credited and receives a copy.


If this article is reprinted in a publication, I would appreciate a notice in

the publication that you found this article in the Florilegium. I would also

appreciate an email to myself, so that I can track which articles are being

reprinted. Thanks. -Stefan.


<the end>

Formatting copyright © Mark S. Harris (THLord Stefan li Rous).
All other copyrights are property of the original article and message authors.

Comments to the Editor: stefan at florilegium.org