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Sanguinaccio, a bloody good chocolate dessert, says Annalisa Cercone

Sanguinaccio dolce is a chocolate pudding from Naples, made with pig’s blood. Source: Annalisa Cercone

Our sixth and final episode of The Ugly Ducklings of Italian Cuisine celebrates Carnival in Naples, where children feast on crostoli and a bloody chocolate custard. Believe it or not, the tradition lives on in Australia.

The name sanguinaccio comes from the Italian word sangue, which means blood. Its key ingredient is pig’s blood, which is used immediately after slaughtering while still warm, and mixed with chocolate.

It is accompanied by crostoli, chiacchiere, galani... there are many different names in Italy for the sweet, thin fried pastry that is traditionally served with sanguinaccio during Carnival, the festive winter period preceding Lent.



  • If you live in Australia, lucky you! You can still buy pig’s blood.
  • Blood can be used safely and is a healthy ingredient in many diets.
  • You can have sanguinaccio dolce, even if you’re vegetarian.

Annalisa Cercone
Annalisa Cercone celebrates everything Italian in the kitchen, on Instagram and on her podcast.
Annalisa Cercone

Annalisa Cercone, who celebrates Italian culture and food in her Instagram account and her Signorina Talks podcast, remembers vividly when her grandmother was making sanguinaccio for her, although in a bloodless variant.

Salami-making has been a long standing tradition in the Italian community in Australia and, even if her family didn’t do it, nonna Maria made sure little Annalisa had her share of sanguinaccio, leaving her to try the “hard-core” version elsewhere...

When you’re a child, you eat anything that tastes good. And this tasted really good!

Listen to the sixth episode of The Ugly Ducklings of Italian Cuisine.

Sanguinaccio, a bloody good chocolate dessert, says Annalisa Cercone
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Scarrafoni in Cucina: The Ugly Ducklings of Italian Cuisine is SBS' first bilingual podcast in English and another language. Listen now in Italian.

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