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Hematogen: Candy Bars Made From Blood

"A spoon full of sugar makes the medicine go down." Isn’t that what Mary Poppins said? This clever little saying wasn’t far from the truth. Little did Mary know about the Soviet treat that functioned as medicine, Hematogen.

This treat included blood which helps with conditions for iron deficiency such as anemia. Cleverly concealed in the guise of a chocolate bar, Hematogen has been tested over time to prove medicinal benefits.

[Physicians and manufacturers] fiddled with everything from cocoa to milk to yeast, producing powdered forms and extracts of all manner of products. They turned their eyes to blood as well, hoping to distill its nutritional value into shelf-stable, palatable forms. (Raw blood spoils incredibly quickly and easily, especially during industrial animal slaughter.)
Pirogovskaya notes that researchers across Europe created a host of blood-based products, like Hematopan, “blood powder sweetened with licorice,” and Haemosan, a “drink made of blood protein, lecithin, and calcium glycerophosphate.” Hematogen, according to the Russian newspaper Pravda, originated in a Swiss doctor’s lab as part of this late 1800s modernist food craze.

While some may be hesitant about eating blood with their chocolate, others may say that they enjoy the “metallic” taste that it leaves behind.

Would you eat a candy bar made with blood? Read the rest over at Munchies.

Image: Hilary Pollack

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