Traditions across Europe-an eTwinning project

“Science and technology revolutionize our lives, but memory, TRADITION and myth frame our response.” (Arthur Schlesinger Jr.)

A traditional Polish duck blood soup April 10, 2008

Filed under: Traditional recipes — ligregni @ 7:07 pm
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Czernina (from wikipedia) with our comment

czernina, duck blood Dutch cup

“czernina, duck blood soup…
…in Dutch cup

Czernina (from the Polish word czarny – black; sometimes also Czarnina or Czarna polewka) is a Polish soup made of duck blood and clear poultry broth. In English it is referred to as Duck Blood Soup.

Generally the sweet and sour taste of the soup comes from the addition of sugar and vinegar. However, there are hundreds of recipes popular in different parts of Poland and Lithuania. Among the ingredients used are plum or pear syrup, dried pears, plums or cherries, apple vinegar and honey. Like most Polish soups, czernina is usually served with fine noodles, macaroni or boiled potatoes.

Until the 19th century czernina was also a symbol in Polish culture. It was served to young men applying for the hand of their beloved ones after the parents rejected their proposal. It is a plot element in Pan Tadeusz, a famous Polish epic poem by Adam Mickiewicz.

It is also a regional dish in Kaszuby and Poznań.”


We live near Kaszuby so a lot of us knows the soup, but some people do not want even want to try it when they hear what its special ingredient is. A lot of people love it, it is said to be healthy and tasty. Most of us haven’t tried it.

Everybody in Poland knows Pan Tadeusz so the soup is a symbol of rejection for us (czarna polewka mentioned before), all Polish people.

Gimnazjum nr 18, Poland


6 Responses to “A traditional Polish duck blood soup”

  1. gina Says:

    Very interesting story! I mean that one of the usage of this soup. But did the rejected lover eat it?

  2. jerome Says:

    Sounds like one bowl full of class A slop!

  3. ligregni Says:

    Slop or not Jerome, you will never know for sure, unless you try. I doubt you will 🙂

  4. ligregni Says:

    To Gina

    I doubt they ate it. It was offensive if giving the soup was suppped to be a sign of rejection, that meant a definite “no”. It often led to fights and little wars.

  5. Patty Says:

    Very interesting thoughts coming from Europe! From my father’s side of the family, 100% Polish descent living in Stevens Point, Wisconsin, the soup was made at Easter time to celebrate. I wonder if the blood was a symbol for the blood of Christ also?? I don’t know if the recipe was americanized but I believe that maybe only a little blood was added 1/2 cup or something and we all looked forward to the home made soup and home made noodles every year we visited my aunt. I am trying to collect Polish stories and recipes from my dad now since he is almost 89 and want to preserve this tradition.

  6. Liliana Says:

    Hello, Patty!
    Thanks for sharing your thoughts with us. If you want to post one of your dad’s Polish stories or recipes here, you are more than welcomed to do that.

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