A Bloody Good -- and Bloody Hard to Find -- Dessert Hits Revival Market
In its savory form, sanguinaccio tastes like oddly greaseless pan sausage. Revival Market even serves the stuff in a tall, sausage-shaped round along with a fried yard egg, the crumbly texture of the sanguinaccio thirstily soaking up the golden yolk once you pierce the egg's delicate white cloak.
Photos by Katharine Shilcutt
In its sweet form, the sanguinaccio dolce that Revival Market's chef de cuisine Adam Dorris makes with gritty semolina flour has the flavor and feel of raw brownie batter. The whipped forms he makes with lard tastes like rich, dense chocolate mousse. And like the lard, the most important ingredient in sanguinaccio is sourced from the pigs that Revival Market owner Morgan Weber raises himself and which are butchered in-house: blood.
Aside from its telltale dark cordovan hue, you'd never know that the block of sanguinaccio dolce sitting innocuously in Revival Market's charcuterie case was made primarily with pig's blood. But it's precisely this one ingredient that makes sanguinaccio so good -- and so rare.
"I've only seen it in Italy," said Ryan Pera, chef and co-owner at Revival Market. Dorris, who's been turning out batches of sanguinaccio along with charcutier Andrew Vaserfirer, chimed in with a similar tale. When Dorris was helming the kitchen at the now-closed Stella Sola, he offered it on the menu -- but most diners didn't realize what it was, although they ate it with relish.
Adam Dorris shows off his savory sanguinaccio.
In fact, when sanguinaccio appeared briefly in an Astoria restaurant last year, New York food writers got wiggly with excitement over finding it; locating the Italian dessert made by whipping blood into dark chocolate and letting it set in a refrigerated mold overnight is the food equivalent of watching a comet streak through the night sky.
Writing for New York Magazine's Grub Street, Bradley O'Bryan Hawks described its scarceness and salience in a city such as New York where a food lover can find entire constellations of cuisines: "Loyal regulars [at Ornella Trattoria], or anyone in the know and brave enough, might even be able to coax a cupful throughout the week when it remains an off-menu special."
But it's not off-menu at Revival Market. Right here in Houston, it's $12.99 a pound and available fresh every day.