sangre. an important word that i should have known. a word that because i didn’t know, left me feeling ill. a word that proved that sometimes what you eat really is mind over matter.
vaso de leche had a training meeting for the chapter presidents who also do commodores populares (a small-scale soup kitchen-esque type program). they were teaching a great/easy/tasty/healthy snacks for kids and adults, with the key ingredient being sangre. again. the keyword that i did not know.
i arrived, and the meeting started 2 ½ hours late. when i walked in, i glanced over at the table and saw a paint bucket full of red liquid. it looked like watered-down red paint, and i thought to myself, “wow, i guess peruvians really do add water to their paint.” (my host mom and i had a discussion about this last week).
then later, once we started the activity, they poured the red liquid into a blender. again, i didn’t think to much of it. peruvians are quite resourceful with their items, and so i figured they needed to further blend this new fruit/veggie that i had never heard of. this is also plausible, because there are a number of foods here that are entirely new here, and are not served in their natural form (e.g. maracuya).
the part the stuck out as weird was that we then boiled this liquid, which in my mind really confirmed that this must be a liquefied vegetable. the part that was truly strange was that the red vegetable turned brown once cooked. we then cut up more veggies and fried them in pattie form for croquettes, which were quite tasty. i was taking a lot of notes, because it seemed like a dish that i could refine and make back in the states.
after, we took the left over cooked sangre that was not used for the croquettes, and put it in the blender with vanilla, cookies and, of course, sugar, and made a really tasty mousse. i was about 2/3 of the way through my mousse, savoring ever bite, when i finally asked what the significance for sangre was…biggest mistake i could have made that day.
it was then explained to me that it cow blood, and very nutritious and helps with anemia. well, there went my appetite. it truly was an occasion, where not knowing would have been in my best interest. my stomach did not settle well for the rest of the night, purely because my brain was freaked out. in fact, it still gets a little tussled with the thought.
but seriously, who makes a dessert with cow blood?
oh well, peace corps, right?
ps. did i mention that i picked out a live maggot out of my salad this week? don’t worry, i didn’t eat it…at least that one…