Blood Sausage at the Estonian House

November 18, 2012

Real quick: What in the heck is going on here:

If you answered: filling a pig intestine with blood-soaked barley, you are weird. And correct. You must also know that it’s getting near holiday season at the Estonian House, when that New York stronghold of the strangest of the Baltic countries hosts its annual verivorst tutorial/festival.

Verivorst is black pudding or blood sausage, which apparently unites us all. “It’s pretty much a peasant food all around the world,” says Aili Vanaselja, whose family recipe kicked off the NYC tradition. “In Argentina they have morcilla, they make it in Spain and Germany...My nanny is from Bhutan, and there they make it with rice.” Asked where to get the best blood, her husband Siim (I also met a Taivo Ets and an Ell Tabur: all Estonian names sound vaguely intergalactical) said immediately: “An Italian place, 38th Street and Ninth Avenue.” Now you know.