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Blood Pancakes (Scandinavia)

Scandinavians are a hearty bunch — they had to be to survive those sometimes harsh and brutal winters. While modern Scandinavians may not fight so hard anymore, their ancestors had to make the most of every animal hunted; meaning nothing was wasted. Hooves were boiled down into gelatin, hearts were fried into nuggets and blood was baked into pancakes. Blood acts as an egg substitute and kicks in extra protein and binds the milk and flour together. Without eggs, these pancakes are dense, savory and dark — and loaded with iron. To counteract a metallic taste, cooks throw in spices or sweeteners like molasses. In Finland, where blood pancakes are believed to have originated, they are known as veriohukainen. In Sweden, they are known as blodplattar. Most modern recipes call for pig or cow blood, though the blood of any animal will do. Remaining popular in Finland, the Finnish can skip the entire preparation process and buy ready-made frozen blood pancakes.