Among the many oddities that are often saddled with the ancient Spartans, the narrative that sees them eating a soup made of blood is often redundant. In your opinion, is it yet another urban legend or the descendants of Heracles loved to research particular flavours?
Well, we just can’t answer to this question, as no original recipe has reached our scholars. The first recorded mention dates back to the 5th century BC, in a play written by Pherecrates. The “Melanas Zomos”, or black soup, was to be a staple food, especially for the Spartan elite, the Spartiates.
The dish was highly appreciated because it was rich in calories, ideal for the warrior life of the Laconians. It consisted of boiled pork, which was then fried with fat and water. When the water began to boil, barley flour and a mixture were added made of vinegar and animal blood.
According to some sources, the elders used to leave the meat to the younger ones, the eromenos, to feast on the beloved broth. They also ate bread, figs, cheese and more.
In more recent times, black soup has been enjoyed by the likes of Benjamin Rush, one of the signers of the US Declaration of Independence, and Adolf Hitlerwho even compared the “Melanos Zomos” to a typical dish from the Schleswig-Holstein region of Germany.