WTF Foods: Blood
We always thought it was odd how psyched Chinese people get over the fake blood cafe trend, seeing how they eat the real deal. It's sort of like Navy Seals getting amped about laser tag.
Now, the idea of eating blood might conjure up images of someone in a goat's head and grass skirt guzzling at the neck of a pig; but the Chinese preparation is actually quite innocuous-looking. It basically entails cubes of rust-colored animal plasma (blood tofu), which form when blood from a freshly-killed animal drips in a metal tub and coagulates. If you saw a tray of these on the street, you wouldn't even know they were blood.
When we want to sate our inner-lamprey, we opt for Zhouli Laoya Fensi's duck blood and glass noodle soup, a veritable 'bouillabaise of offal' with bands of duck intestine, gizzards, and of course, dried blood hunks. Chinese aunties were slurping this stuff down long before Fergus Henderson made offal a haute item in the West. The stock itself is made from simmered duck bones. The other key component is glass noodles or Chinese vermicelli, transparent threads of mung bean starch. Deep-fried firm tofu, coriander and other herbs are thrown in for good measure.
And it's pretty freaking delicious. We were actually surprised how non-blood-like the blood tasted. We were expecting that coppery bite you taste whilst sucking a paper cut, but the flavor profile is closer to liver. It's also apparently loaded with iron, protein and vitamin D. Black pudding, eat your heart out.
Full list of locations here.