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What comes to mind at the mention of stew? Maybe a hearty beef stew or some creamy chicken soup? Well, it seems that many fast food restaurants in the Philippines will sell you stew that’s made from the blood of domesticated animals! Holy cow! Or maybe it’s horse. Sheep? Exactly what kind of blood are we talking here?! To find out more, we flew our top investigative reporter to the Philippines to fill us in on the heart of the matter.

We found our bloody stew in a Filipino fast food joint called Mang INASAL. Considering what’s found on the menu, we expected the restaurant to resemble a cultists’ lair run by an ugly knife-wielding demoness, but much to our relief, the interior closely resembled that of any well-kept restaurant in Japan.

The dish we sought to try is called dinuguan at puto and is made with pig’s blood as the main component. When placing our order, it felt hard to believe that such a stew could ever be considered common fare, but the truth of the matter was easy to confirm with one quick look around the restaurant. Everywhere, satisfied customers were digging in to their own bowls of pig blood. It was quite the popular dish!

At first whiff, the smell of the soup wasn’t all that bad. It was similar to beef stew. However, at first taste, the flavor was overwhelmingly sour. This is thanks to the inclusion of vinegar and an orange-like fruit, meant to cancel out the smell of blood. It wouldn’t sit well with people who don’t like pickled foods. Though, once the acidic burst passes, what’s left is a deep, rich flavor that’s again reminiscent of beef stew. As we continued eating, we noticed that some bites were more the consistency of pudding. We realized later on that it was chunks of congealed blood giving us that squishy texture!

So what’s the final verdict on taste? Absolutely delicious! Whether you gobble it up straight from the spoon or sop up the juice with some accompanying steamed rolls, the flavor is nothing short of fantastic! Knowing this, it seems a real shame that we dispose of blood from the slaughterhouse. Filipinos, with their waste-not-want-not mentality, have found the perfect use for that practical resource.

In conclusion, thanks to our investigative dining at Philippine fast food place, Mang INASAL, we have now experienced the wonders of pork blood stew. Sure, we could have just looked it up on Wiki, but to truly understand the fundamental flavor of this popular Filipino dish, it really must be tasted for oneself. We’d recommend it in a heartbeat to any strange-food connoisseur. Is there perhaps a similar sort of dish served where you live?

Photo: RocketNews24

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“Here it goes… Well, it doesn’t stink. Smell’s fine. It tastes like beef stew!”

And, here’s a map to Mang INASAL, in case anyone’s interested.

[ Read in Japanese ]