The Real Breakfast of Champions


Connor takes his breakfast on the bloody side. (VIA FLICKR)


I’m the type of person who takes his eggs early in the morning. Really early, like 6 or 7 a.m.—it makes me a difficult roommate. My eggs are most often lightly fried with a strong cup of coffee, and a side of reheated or refried leftovers.

I prefer pizza, but I like all leftovers. Baked scrod works well if I don’t have pizza. I actually put the eggs on top of the pizza slices, but it’s not required. I do it, life is short and egg-pizza is very delicious. Plus, dollar pizza can always use extra flavoring. As you can see, I love mixing together weird disparate tastes in the morning. But nothing beats my craving for blood cake. Yes, blood is involved–unlike the blood orange, blood cake … I’m not really sure how to say it other than to just tell you that blood cake is fried blood.

It sounds morbid, and it really is to the untrained palate. The primary ingredient is pig blood, and then some other enticing parts of the beast (a mix of bacon and ground pork is the favored template) and variety of spices. It’s best not to think of the recipe when you eat blood cake, just remember it pairs fantastically with fried eggs and a strong cup of black tea or strong coffee. If you are from the Pennsylvania/Virginia region, this may remind you of scrapple, appetizing and repulsive for similar reasons. Learning about how scrapple is made is not recommended, like learning how hot dogs are made. Same goes for blood cake, so just repress what I said here. Besides, blood cake is a delicacy in the area where all food is generally terrible. I mean of course my homeland of Ireland, and to a lesser extent England.

Blood cake is considered a good way to start the day in Ireland and England, where most of my family is from. I’m a mix of Irish and Irish-Canadian for full disclosure, but I haven’t yet tried blood cake with syrup—I have no doubt I’d find it delicious. I’ve enjoyed blood cake (or English Wheaties) home and abroad, separately on a platter alongside eggs, baked beans, sausage, bacon, some potatoes and sometimes with grilled onions and mushrooms. Tomatoes are also a popular companion, but I prefer the poorly classified fruit more in tomato paste form (e.g. pizza that I tend to eat at 7 a.m. with eggs and coffee). A sandwich is also an option, with all of the above platter items stuffed into a long roll. Not the baked beans, though.

PSA: Don’t eat baked bean sandwiches, even if they seem like they should work based on my aforementioned logic. They don’t.

I hope you aren’t thoroughly disgusted, because if anything I’m hungrier now. Blood cake and weird foods for breakfast are a great way to start the day. They aren’t particularly healthy, being fried blood and things not meant to be eaten before noon. I’m not a Gremlin—I eat what I want when I want to eat it, and you should too since we are technically adults that can’t rent cars. Here is an example of how I start my day: I sit in a dark living room with the TV at low volume showing the news of the night on CNN, and counterintuitively, I feel ready for the day. Because, when you’ve eaten things that shouldn’t be eaten before the sun comes up, what could the world throw at you that you couldn’t be ready for?